How a once troubled teen, dreams of becoming a teacher tomorrow!
Shalu* was what you would probably call a troubled teen, but perhaps not in the typical sense.
Only 11 herself, she was the oldest of 5 children and was often tasked with taking care of not only them, but also the household. Her father was a farmer with a small field, where he and his wife would slog, day in and day out. Coming from a rural area meant that the importance of education for women was something that was not a matter of concern for many, including Shalu’s parents. Obviously, Shalu was not allowed to go to school, because if she went, who would stay at home and take care of things.
It was just a matter of time, that Shalu started feeling stifled in the life she was being forced to live. Her life was confined within the courtyard and her daily routine was only surrounding the household chores. She had to cook for the entire family, clean the entire house, wash the clothes and utensils and babysit her younger siblings. There were times when her father would get drunk and misbehave with them. Her life was not what she would have wanted, and that was something that constantly troubled her!
One day, a young woman came knocking at her door and asked her if she could talk to her for a few minutes. There was something so earnest about this young woman, that Shalu felt that she owed it to herself and her to listen to what she had to say.
Little did she know that these few minutes were going to change her life forever!
The lady she was talking to was part of the team from Educate Girls and as she spoke about the importance of education and its benefits, Shalu began to see how her life could have been different. The volunteer from Educate Girls told her how the organisation was constantly working towards bringing girls, much like Shalu herself, back to the classroom, not only giving them a chance of learning and getting a proper education, but also making a better life for themselves.
As the Educate Girls’ Team Balika volunteer spoke at length about the benefits of women’s education, there was a small voice in the back of Shalu’s mind that kept telling her that all this was nice to hear, but her parents would not let her go to school. And it was almost as if the lady heard the voice, because she said that she and her team would come to her home and talk to her parents and convince them to allow not only Shalu, but also her sisters to come to class.
It was perhaps some forces that were at play, because the Educate Girls volunteer were able to convince her parents to allow Shalu and her sisters to go to school. They spoke to them at length, telling them about all the benefits that the entire family would be able to reap, if the daughters of the house were educated:
- The girls would know how to take care of not only themselves, but also those around them
- With a proper education, they would know more about health and hygiene, as well as nutrition – every time they would go to the market, they would know better what fruits and vegetables to choose and ensure that only the right amount would be paid
- Another one of the benefits of education would be the fact that they would be able to help their father, the farmer, ensure that the yields would be sold at the best possible rates
- With an education, the girls would also be able to take better decisions in their own lives – from getting a good job and earning a livelihood to deciding the right time to get married
With the help of Educate Girls, Shalu and her sisters were not only able to get an education, but also build a better life for the entire family. After they caught up on their lost years of schooling, they were able to go to college as well.
Today, Shalu is thoroughly enjoying being in school and when asked, she responded that it was that she was learning something new every day, that truly excited her. In the future, she wants to become a teacher, because she is now truly understanding the importance of education and being in school. When asked why she became a teacher, Shalu had a simple answer – education changed her life and now she wants to use it to change the life of others, especially girls!
When you support us at Educate Girls, you are actually supporting thousands of girls like Shalu live a life they deserve. Donate today!
*name changed to protect identity
Posted on June 7, 2023