In ABFEK,Action Kivu,Education Assistance Programs,Food for Thought | Growing Up Healthy,Power of Education,The Girl Effect

An Education: Kabibi or Kabwana?

Kabibi and her brother Kabwana stood before their school principal, silent while their mother explained to the headmaster why Kabibi must drop out of school. With seven children to feed, earning a dollar a day working on her neighbor’s farms, their mother cannot afford to send both teens to secondary school. She chose to pay for Kabwana’s education, because he is a boy.

Kabibi, left, and Kabwana.

At 18, Kabibi is three years older than her little brother Kabwana, and should be finishing secondary school in grade 6. But, like many children in eastern Congo, because her family wasn’t financially able to send her to school consistently, she’s behind in her studies. Domestic violence is common in the community, and after years of suffering, Kabibi’s mother was abandoned, publically rejected by her husband at her own church service, and left with nothing but her seven children to care for.

The headmaster told her that Kabibi has always been more intelligent than Kabwana. In tears, Kabibi’s mother replied that Kabibi has to stop simply because she is a girl. Kabibi also cried in front of other students and teachers.

What does it do to a girl’s thinking, to be told that because she is female, she is not worthy to be educated? For a month after being forced to leave school, Kabibi was showing signs of depression, isolating herself from others. When a representative of ABFEK (Action Kivu’s partner in Congo) arrived for a school visit, Kabibi asked if there was any way to find a sponsor to pay for her education. It was too late, as ABFEK had already used all the funds to enroll students this school year, but a friend visiting with ABFEK heard her story, and gave the money for Kabibi to attend the first half of the school year.

Amani wrote: “Kabibi had spent the whole last month with no smile, but after it was announced that someone has donated for half a school year for her, she is smiling!”

Kabibi at school

“I want to become a medical doctor if I have chance to go to University,” Kabibi says.

Would you like to pay for the other half of Kabibi’s school year? It only costs $50, and if you set up a recurring donation of $10 / month, your dedicated giving will cover her school fees for the following year.

There are hundreds of children like Kabibi, whose families cannot afford to send them to school. Please consider a recurring monthly donation; $10 a month tells them they are important, their stories matter, and they’re not alone.

“What we are learning around the world is that if women are healthy and educated, their families will flourish. If women are free from violence, their families will flourish. If women have a chance to work and earn as full and equal partners in society, their families will flourish. And when families flourish, communities and nations do as well.”
— Secretary of State and former First Lady Hilary Clinton

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