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Voices from the dormitory
With the help of CLS donations, some of these young women have been living in the dormitory on the grounds of the secondary school for several years. They only go home during the holidays. Sometimes, however, their families come to visit. All of them are separated from their parents for the first time, but feel comfortable and safe in the dormitory, have made many friends and can concentrate fully on learning.
Esther’s favourite subject is English, but later she wants to become a doctor. She comes from the village Mpenba, about 60 km away from the secondary school. The young woman has three siblings, she is the oldest. She comes from a poor but educated family. All children go to school, the father has a secondary school diploma, the mother has at least attended primary school. Esther is one of the first residents of the dormitory. “I like the bathrooms and the privacy. Here I find time to read and learn. By the way, the secondary school has good teachers, I think that’s great.”
A four hour walk lies between Bridget’s home village and the secondary school. She comes from a broken family, her parents were separated at an early age, the mother died in 2015, the father does not care for the four children. Bridget lived near the school for two years, sharing a room with five other girls and the landlord’s family. Outhouse, a leaking roof, no privacy and fear of thieves – this situation determined her everyday life. Now she is half supported by the CLS and can finally concentrate on her career aspirations: “I want to be a journalist later.”
At school she became enthusiastic about mathematics, but later Alice would like to work as a nurse. She comes from the village of Kamwamba, about 20 km from the secondary school, and has six brothers and sisters. Alice attends the “first form”, which corresponds to about the 9th grade in Germany. “The security I enjoy in the dormitory, compared to accommodation “outside”, is invaluable to me. My parents couldn’t afford the accommodation without the allowance.” With a smile she adds: “Here I can now learn and read in peace and quiet, because I don’t have to do any housework.”
Favourite subject: chemistry, career goal: nurse. Tianjane is the oldest of five siblings … and one of the youngest students in secondary school. Her family lives in the village Kanono, about 22 km away. Even though her parents only have a primary education, Tianjane and her three brothers attend school. However, the family is dependent on help to pay the school and housing costs. “I love the dormitory, here I have time to read, sleep well and feel safe.” Tianjane really appreciates the way the teachers try. “It’s a great advantage that the school provides homes for the teachers.”