Little steps, big impact.

Jefiter Mang
Posted November 12, 2021 from Nigeria

When I started a campaign to retain girls in school, I knew I was doing something noble and significant, but never imagined the joy that would follow.

I had advocated for educating the girl child to whatever level she desires and tried through  Life Aid, (an NGO i founded) to sponsor the very disadvantaged ones to at least High school.

It has seemed like a very daunting task, but we tried to do what we could  to make a difference in the lives of our girls.

The case of Ene, one of our beneficiaries would warm even cold hearts.

She was a seventeen year old whom teenage pregnant could have stopped temporarily or permanently her education.

She was manipulated by her aunt who practically put her in harm's way for financial gains. Ene made deliveries of a local drink to the aunt's male customers. Some took advantage of her and one eventually got her pregnant.

On discovery of the pregnancy, the aunt still saw prospects of more financial gains and wanted to marry her off. That was when Ene reached out to her sister, through whom we got to know about it.

It was a long process, but we intervened and we're able to stop any marriage.

 

Pregnancy out of wedlock  around this part of the world is still a very big deal . The family in a bid to cover the "shame" just plans a marriage irrespective of age, emotional maturity, financial capability or circumstances leading to the pregnancy. 

Thankfully, we influenced against a marriage. Ene's ordeal came in great measures, because having scaled one, another one would come .

She decided she wanted to continue schooling, but she had  a government policy against pregnant students stare her in the face. Pregnant girls can't be in school.

 

Help came when we could  raise funds for her to register as an external student for her Junior secondary School examination.  Tutors were paid to give her private lessons at home. . The fee for this special exams too were paid by us.

 

She was one determined soul. She was glad we could pay for her when her family could not afford it. and so she put in her best. She battled with the shame of being laughed at . People do not have have sympathy for pregnant unmarried girls. She battled with  stress of pregnancy adding to her preparing for an exam. 

 

Her dream to be a computer Engineer kept her going. And just last month it paid off as she has her Junior secondary School certificate.

She passed every one of those subjects well. And she has her baby! To crown it all, she didn't have to stop school then and so has gone on with her senior secondary Schooling.

We see in every life of the girls that we have helped to stay on in school that a little help can go a long way! Even in ways that can not be quantified.

With education, girls like Ene can make informed decisions about their bodies, their rights and their future.

With education, they can be anything they want to be. 

With education, they can break the limitations the society places on them.They can fight stigma, shaming of any sort. 

Like Ene, education helps them know they don't have to be defined by their present circumstances. Education gives them a platform to fight for their places in the world.

Just today, we added three more girls to the list of girls we are sponsoring.

We may not know right now exactly how their lives are impacted but we await when we hear them. We know our hearts will be warmed again, for they will be stories of impact.

 

 

 

 

 

Comments 10

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Rahmana Karuna
Nov 12, 2021
Nov 12, 2021

Jefiter, this is wonderful update news of your amazing efforts to assist girls on their way to adulthood as they desire. blessings and hugs

Jefiter Mang
Nov 12, 2021
Nov 12, 2021

Thank you sis. Hugs from here too.
Together we keep doing our bits.

Tamarack Verrall
Nov 12, 2021
Nov 12, 2021

Dear Jefiter,
This is tremendous. This is such important work. It is infuriating that girls continue to be punished for what irresponsible adults do. That there are no consequences for men, for women who set up girls in these ways, or for all those who judge and blame. What a different path you are making possible for Ene and many other girls. This is what matters.

Jefiter Mang
Nov 14, 2021
Nov 14, 2021

Thank you Tamarack!
We keep at it God helping us.
This what matters truly. Thank you

rebecca.tang
Nov 15, 2021
Nov 15, 2021

Thank you for sharing. Your work is very meaningful and can help a lot of girls. I have observed the issues that needs to focus : 1. Teenager pregnancy/sex issue 2. Education opportunities. The first is it needs more education to young girls on safe sex and the consequences of having a baby and their young age. For 2nd one, the girls should continue their study. Knowledge can change their life. They can still have their dreams.
Please keep the great work on! May Almighty God bless you and all the young mothers!

Jefiter Mang
Nov 16, 2021
Nov 16, 2021

Thank you!
I agree with you that education( formal and informal) is key for the girls.
We will keep doing our best that they get educated.
Thank you for reading and engaging.

Beth Lacey
Nov 16, 2021
Nov 16, 2021

You are an age sent to help these girls

Jefiter Mang
Nov 16, 2021
Nov 16, 2021

.
Thank you for your kind words.

KABAHENDA KIGGUNDU
Jan 09
Jan 09

Bless you Jefiter, and bless the work you are doing!

This is the story of so many girls in Africa, and the many heartless monsters in the name of "aunts" who would kill to protect their girl children, but who have no conscience when it comes to children of others, including those of their close kin.

I am of the opinion that such women deserve a place in hell, and that it is high time that they started to pay for their sins!

Alas, the parents that entrust their children to these women do not have the capacity to pursue them in law, nor do I know of any laws against such practices!

I think that organizations like yourselves who take on the responsibilities for such girls may be better placed to start finding ways to prosecute such "aunts" because this is the only way to stop these kind of occurrences.

More power to you my friend.

Jefiter Mang
Jan 10
Jan 10

You are right about prosecuting people who put others in such harm.
This will definitely be one of the steps we take for any one found as a culprit .
It will serve as deterance.
Thank you!