News from our Girls
On this page you can find out more about our girls and how our help is benefitting them, their families and communities.
Recently, one of our CCLEF sponsored girls was presented with The Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation Award for Courage. Nancy Tomee of the Pokot tribe in Northern Kenya, won the award for her courageous stand against the barbaric practice of female genital mutilation (FGM).
The award was received by Domtila Chesang, who also campaigns against FGM, on Nancy's behalf because Nancy was writing her final secondary school leaving exams. The presentation took place during the the second Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation Arts for Human Rights Benefit Gala Auction which was held on October 2014 at Phillips, Howick Place in London. Various artists generously donated their work to be auctioned inlcuding: Alex Katz, Anselm Kiefer, Bill Viola, Francesco Clemente, Francesco Vezzoli, Gustavo Aceves, Jason Martin, Jules de Balincourt, Manolo Blahnik, Marc Quinn, Marina Abramovic, Martin Creed, Not Vital, Raqib Shaw, Retna, Richard Long, Robert Longo, Ross Bleckner,Sir David Chipperfield, Sylvie Fleury, Tracey Emin, and Yoko Ono.
“I am representing those that are demanding that change, for each girl needs to be a source of further change, and I am an ambassador,” she said at the high-level dialogue, which was organized by the Organization of African First Ladies against HIV/AIDS (OAFLA) in partnership with UNFPA.
At the event, which coincided with the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly, first ladies from around Africa and the world called on global leaders to support the rights and welfare of adolescent girls – particularly those in Africa, where girls continue to endure high rates of child marriage and early pregnancy, leading to lower levels of secondary school completion and higher levels of maternal death.- See more at: http://esaro.unfpa.org/public/news/pid/18413#sthash.U8yopHrP.dpufhttp://www.unfpa.org/public/home/news/pid/18321
Through the CCLEF, we still have direct communication with Nancy and her school. We knew about Nancy’s determination to fight FGM. Two years ago she wrote this to the CCLEF as part of her application:
"I would like to become a doctor in future because I would like to assist people in my community to know the consequences of Female Genital Mutilation. I am from a community which practices this and I was lucky to have been saved from this practice. "
Please join us in congratulating her and do share her story through social media and in any way you can.
Education sometimes may be taken for granted, however, this was certainly not the case for Purity.
Her mother's last words before she died had changed everything for Purity. She had told her,“work hard and promise me you will have a bright life…”
But how can someone have a bright life, when there are no parents to support them? In order for her to go to school, Purity needed to pay school fees, buy uniforms and obtain other basic school needs. She was desperately looking for someone to help her when the Commonwealth Countries League Education Fund (CCLEF) came to her aid through her secondary school.
This is Purity’s story in her own words, taken from when she first applied for sponsorship to the CCLEF:
"My father died when I was only 6 months old and my mother died when I was 9 years old. Life has been difficult for me and my guardian, because it is not easy being an orphan or paying schools fees and everything for an orphan. I am kindly asking for your help in sponsoring me with my educational needs because my guardian cannot manage to pay for me and all my siblings. She faces a lot of difficulties. I want to pay her back when I finish school because she has done so much...
My ambition is to be a medical doctor because I want to save lives of people and parents so that their children don’t suffer or go through what we orphans have gone through. It makes me sad when I see pupils not concentrating in school. I talk to them because they don’t know what it’s like to be an orphan...I usually get A+. My goal in life is never to look back, never give up, look to the future and strive hard to achieve the positive side of life. I believe I can achieve my ambition with your help.
My mother’s last words were “work hard and promise me you will have a bright future,” then she smiled and died. I cried and I was in a lot of pain and I still am. With your help, I will really be concentrating on my work so that my parents, guardian and you my sponsors will be proud of me. Please help me achieve my ambition and save a life."
Purity graduated with a Distinction, however she could not proceed on to University. She wrote to the Education Fund begging for help. She missed her entry into the national university and nearly lost hope until Madrinha Trust decided to take her on as mentee. This now means that Purity has a mentor in addition to the financial support offered by Madrinha Trust.
Purity’s dream was to become a doctor, and she is on the path to becoming one.
A huge thank you to all our supporters for helping Purity achieve her dream.
Please help us support more girls around the Commonwealth. On average, £300 is enough to support a girl in school for one year in some developing countries.
News from SRI LANKA – A Future Teacher
Ashini is 12 years old and is described as a very bright student who scores very good marks in exams. She is top of her class. Although she faces a lot of economical problems, Ashini always strives to do her best. Ashini enjoys Science. In her application for sponsorship, she wrote, “My favourite subject is Science. I would like to be a teacher and serve my country. I will study hard to make my dream come true. If I get this scholarship, I would be able to spend it on stationery such as text books and note books, pens and other basic school needs. So this scholarship would be a great help in making my dream come true.”
Ashini’s school test results show how much she values and enjoys school. She was top of her class (position 1 out of 44) and the following is her school report:
Religion 100%, Sinhala 90%, Mathematics 86%, Science 93%, English 62%, Citizenship Education 98%, Geography 92%, History 88%, Health Science 79%, PE 80%, Dancing 91%.
In January 2014, the school wrote of their delight to receive the sponsorship for the 6 girls.
“Today I write with very happy news. In our school system, we start the new year in January. Students start their studies in the new class in January. So all the six girls have got good marks & passed to the new grade. Under the guidance of our principal, we called up the parents to the school and gave them the necessary advice on how to spend the money. We managed to present the funds to them. They are all amazed by the generosity of the Fund in accepting them for sponsorship. Some thanked with tears in the corners of their eyes. The principal and all the teacher, together with the parents, are extremely grateful to you for your generosity. We promise to send you some photos and receipts soon. But the exam records will be sent after April as our First Term Exam is in April. We all wish you all the best ... God Bless You.”