Antoinette Laureine was a stable government high school fourth grader (Cameroon secondary education norms) until illness struck her single mother Victorine. Her whole life stumbled and when school resumed in September, she could not go back to school like her other mates.
Not only had she no means to enroll to school, but also she was her mother’s caretaker alongside her big brother. All the two were home, overwhelmed by the situation that was unfolding every day before them like a movie. No hope, no help, only despair until GivHOPE Africa was informed of the sad situation.
The Coordinator visited the family and desolation could be read on their faces. During our conversation with Laureine’s elder brother, we learned that all of them did not go back to school in September and seized with compassion, we decided to, at least, enroll one child in school. And since our main targets are girls’ education, we chose Laureine. This was a Friday evening and the school was already closed but enrollment fees and tuition were handed over to the big brother so that his sister could proceed with her registration early Monday morning.
Unfortunate surprise again when Antoinette went to her school that Monday morning, the school had already removed her names from the computer server for no show up. She went back home completely broken. Our follow-up and checking on the family made us to understand that she was not admitted in class.
The Coordinator went to the school the next day with her. Her case was tough and furthermore, the access to the school’s Principal was quasi impossible. But GivHOPE Coordinator fortunately met the school’s Steward who knew Laureine’s story about her mother illness. She took the case to the Principal while we were waiting outside. After four good hours of bargaining and uncertainty, she came back to us with a piece of paper on which it was written: “Admitted in fifth grade”.
What a great satisfaction!
Antoinette’s case was brought to our attention because her mother is one of GivHOPE business women in the making. She has been sick since December 2020 and her business that was exponentially flourishing felt apart. Victorine now depends solely on well-wishers and her children. We also learned that her family has abandoned her with no assistance from their part since she seriously felt sick.
This is the story of many children who depend on one parent. When he/she is in trouble, the whole family suffers out of it. We have hundreds and thousands of similar cases around us because the financial situation of the family rests upon one person’s shoulders. At Victorine’s house, we now care for the entire household of four people.
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