Roukaya is an 11-year-old girl living in a small village in the region of Maradi, in Niger, where she attends 5th grade at her village school. She is the eldest of her family and has a sister and three younger brothers. When her mother goes to the field or to a ceremony, Roukaya stays at home to take care of her younger brothers.
Like many children in her community, Roukaya did not understand the importance of attending school on a consistent basis; she did not pay much attention to learning or take time to study.
However, in 2016 Save the Children came to Roukaya’s community and attitudes toward education quickly changed. Through the sponsorship program, Roukaya gained a sponsor who wrote to her and encouraged her to study hard and to be attentive in class. A great friendship was born from their exchanges, and Roukaya now considers her sponsor a member of her family. “My sponsor encourages me to make efforts in my studies,” she explains.
Save the Children also provided the teachers at Roukaya’s school with additional training that gave them new tools and strategies to use in the classroom. These new approaches, such as applying positive encouragement and discipline as part of their teaching, resulted in students staying interested in their studies and continuing in school.
In addition, Save the Children field agents reached out to the wider village community and educated parents on the merits of their children staying in school and continuing their studies.
Today, nothing can stand between Roukaya and her studies. She is one of the best students in her class and dreams of becoming a teacher in order to contribute in the education of her brothers and sisters, and her community. Roukaya’s teacher Issoufou can attest to her hard work and diligence. “Even this morning, she received a ten out of ten in grammar practice,” he explains proudly. A rewarding achievement the whole village can be proud of.