Tendai had to drop out of school in grade 3 in 2019 as she could not handle the teasing from the other students because of her mentally ill grandmother who she stays with along with her sister`s family. She had low self-esteem because her family is poor and could not provide the basic necessities for her to be comfortable among her peers.
Ever since she started attending the FAWEZI community learning Centre in Matobo district, ward 4, her confidence is increasing, and she can now relate to other children without being intimidated. She now makes sure with the little they have, she is wearing clean sewn clothes and is not ashamed anymore, she says she understands they are poor but if she works hard, gets an opportunity to get back to formal school and learn, she can get a job and take care of her family.
“I am happy now I can socialize with others I used to be shy because we are poor and had to drop out of school and now, I make sure I look presentable when I come to school. Thank you to FAWEZI and our educators and mentors for giving us second chance”, she said.
Meanwhile another 14-year-old boy stopped hanging around toxic friends who had introduced him to drugs and toxic substances after consistently attending learning sessions at the FAWEZI community learning center. His mother was worried about him and said she was on the verge of giving up on him.
“We rarely saw Adam at home and constantly heard he was stealing people`s livestock in the community and hanging around illegal drug dealers. I asked the mother and educator at Matankeni center in Matobo to help me with him since I was a single parent. After 2 months of attending the sessions, I saw a change in dressing and even the way he addressed me. I saw a motivated young man who prepared before lessons to impress his educator and I am forever grateful to FAWEZI,” said Adam`s mother.
“I am glad FAWEZI started the community learning centers as it changed my life. I do not want to be a drug addict as I now know from the lessons, I got that it kills and destroys one`s future,” noted Adam.
FAWEZI in partnership with MOPSE tracked and enrolled girls and boys between the ages nine and fourteen in Beitbridge and Matobo District who are out of school supporting them through community learning under the Education in Emergencies project. A total of 25 Educators and 25 Mothers were trained in both districts to teach and mentor learners in their communities. The Educators are either retired or unemployed qualified teachers and the mothers are community cadres who were trained and equipped with skills to provide mentorship.
This project is contributing to the Adolescent Girls & Young Women Health for Life 360o (AGYW HFL 360o) project which is funded by PEPFAR through USAID. It is being implemented by FHI 360 together with sub-partners.