Supporting girls’ education with books
Girls like Fabiola face huge challenges to gaining an education – but with books, she is making her dreams a reality. Read her story.
My name is Fabiola Davidson. I live in Tembetembe Village and I am 15 years old. I live with my mom and dad.
When I finish school, I want to be a nurse. I want to be a nurse because I want to help the sick. As a nurse I can earn money to help my poor relatives. Doing well in education is important because it will help me get a job when I finish school.
During Covid-19 we weren’t able to go into school for a while, so my school allowed us to borrow books from the library. Before that, I did not read many books. At that time, I did not know the benefits of reading books.
Although there was no school during Covid-19, borrowing books meant we were still able to study at home. The interesting thing is that when we came back to school, we wrote exams and I passed as if there was no time away from school. Now I know how books assist us in different ways in the classroom.
I work hard at English because it is very important in other subject areas. The English words that I came across in the library books helped me because I could also see the same vocabulary in my schoolbooks and exams. Borrowing library books has really improved my English. This means I am now able to answer! And if I am wrong somewhere, the teacher can make corrections so I learn for the future.
Since borrowing these books, I have learnt a lot. When there were no library books, I could not understand my teachers and I was sleeping in class. But since the library books came, things started sinking into my head. I have learned things I didn’t know. Now I can raise my hand and answer questions.
I still face some challenges at school that mean learning can be difficult. We sometimes lack specific books to read that would help us know certain things. We also need access to notebooks and pens so that we can write things down from class and remember them – so that we can be hard-working students.
We also meet a lot of challenges because we are girls. When we are on our way to school some boys try to stop us because they don’t want us to learn. When we refuse to stop, they threaten to beat us.
When a boy is trying to stop me, I do not smile at him or stop. I just go on with my journey. When someone does something like this – to try and stop others from learning – it is very disappointing.
If we were to have no books in the library again, it would be very painful because I rely on the books and I am learning so much. I would be disappointed because the things I depend on for my education would be no longer there.
I want to live a healthier and happy life, a life of studying and love for education. I know the benefits of reading books. I want to learn, so as to avoid struggles when I go to nursing school. If people want to help us, they should support Book Aid International to send us more books so that we can finish school and find our dream jobs.
Parents like Davidson are seeing how books can transform their children’s education, opening doors for the future. This is his story.
20 year old Ugbaad is studying for her first degree, and she’s fallen in love with reading at her local library. This is her story.
The small community library in Lydia’s village is a lifeline for her, but like too many women around the world, her family does not always support her. This is her story.