I am Hazra -13 year old girl- from Malam Jabba - a small village on the top of mountain. I belong to a very poor family as we hardly can afford two meals in a day. I have four sisters and 2 brothers and my father is the only breadwinner in our home. My father is a laborer and his monthly salary is around Rs. 10,000/- ($100) which is not sufficient to meet our household needs. My mother is illiterate but she is managing well with this meager amount as best as she can to fulfil our basic needs. I always wanted to pursue further studies after primary school, however the school was too far and my parents could not afford to send me to that school. The community where I belong was very conservative so they do not allow girls to go to school beyond primary due to reasons such as preference of boys’ education and school being too far. While I attend this school my parents still face so reluctance from family members.After completing my primary school, I wanted to continue studies, but as there was no secondary school nearby, I stayed home to help my mother with daily chores. During this time I also helped my younger siblings with their homework. I had a passion for reading so I was reading books which were available at home. One fine day a miracle happened; our door was knocked by CARE’s INSPIRE project team who were looking for girls to get enrolled in their secondary school Accelerated learning program.
“I was overwhelmed with joy, when I thought of returning to school and a chance to complete my education and to fulfil my dream of becoming a teacher”.
My parents especially my mother was reluctant at first to send me to school, as I was helping her in domestic chores and taking care of my younger siblings. I tried to convince my father to send me to school and to complete my education. My father and mother were hesitant as school was quite far but I assured them that I will join other girls from my village and my younger sisters will also accompany me.When my father saw my enthusiasm and commitment to continue the studies, he provided me this one in a lifetime opportunity by enrolling me in the ALP school. I was very happy for myself but my happiness doubled when I came to know that my father tried to convince other people in village to send their daughters to the ALP school too.On my first day to school, I was beaming with joy and so were my teachers, after looking at my enthusiasm for studies and helped me t to pick the pace of course work. Initially it was difficult to catch up but I tried very hard to cover the syllabus. The unparalleled participatory teaching methods that I had never seen in my primary school helped me with my daily tasks. I passed my grade 6 exams with distinction, and got promoted to next level. This achievement means a lot to me, as this is the first step towards my goal of becoming a teacher. In recent months as the weather was very cold and snowy, my mother was concerned about my health as I did not had very warm clothes, she insisted that I should not to go to school for a few days. But I was determined to continue the school as I do not want to miss a single class which may trigger any further disruption in my education. So I walk daily for 2-3 kilometer in extreme cold on a steep and narrow road to reach the school, to realize my dream and supporting my family financially.My parents are much convinced and now I help them in day to day reading tasks, I can save mobile numbers with names in their phone; I can read medical prescription and tell which medicine to take and when; and I help my parents in reading the expiry date of medicines, which was very difficult before as the clinic was too far from our house.This made my parents not only supportive for my education but now they are advocating other parents in our village to send their daughters to school. I am very privileged to have this Accelerated Learning Program in my village as this initiative brought a ray of hope for my bright future.