Education brings hope in hardship
Abdulai is determined to create a better future for himself now he attends a school newly-built by Plan International Sierra Leone.
“I may have lost my parents and faced many challenges, but education gives me hope and the power to create a better future for myself and my community,” says Abdulai.
Creating a better future through education
Abdulai is a 14-year-old boy who has faced many challenges in his young life. He lost both his parents during the Ebola outbreak in 2014 when they were infected with the virus. After losing his aunt who was taking care of him, he now lives with his cousin in his late uncle’s house in a village in Port Loko District, Sierra Leone.
Despite all the hardships he has faced, Abdulai has not lost hope. Education gives him the power to create a better future for himself and his community.
He wakes up at 7:30 am every day, sweeps the compound, fetches water, takes a bath and then heads to school at 8:00 am. He doesn’t have lunch while at school so he goes to the forest after school to find wood to sell so he can provide food for himself and his cousin.
In addition, the lack of basic amenities has been a significant impediment to children’s education in the village. Many children leave the village to access education, which puts them at risk.
However, thanks to a school built by Plan International, Abdulai and other children can now get an education without having to leave their community.
“With this school, children can receive an education without having to leave the village and risk getting into trouble,” says Gibrilla Kamara, Abdulai’s teacher. “The impact of this school will be enormous in our community.” Gibrilla himself struggled to get an education and had to walk long distances to get to school, among other challenges.
A school is more than just a building
The school means children will be close to home and can focus on their studies without worrying about their safety. It will also provide a sense of security and stability, which is crucial for the children’s emotional and mental well-being.
The school has also brought several benefits to his community. Parents can now focus on their livelihoods while their children attend school and girls are less at risk of abuse and teenage pregnancies.
The construction of the school was made possible by Plan International Sierra Leone and the organisation helped build a borehole to provide access to clean water.
Abdulai is a quiet boy who hardly speaks unless someone asks him a question. Despite this, he performs well in school and is very determined to be educated. The school has given Abdulai hope and the power to create a better future for himself and his community. He believes that education is the key to unlocking his potential and is grateful to Plan International for building the school.