“It feels like dying to found myself being surrounded by five young men out of nowhere. My mom reported to my school immediately after she heard about the attempt to abduct me while I am going to school for a makeup class,” says Kemeru Abdo 15 years old and grade 8 student.
Girls in Kumbi community have neither role models to look up to nor supportive parents to peruse their education. Dropping out before secondary school is a common thing that has been happening in the community until imagine1day embarked on implementing the Leaders Educators and Parents (LEAP) project of EAC program.
Zubeyda Mohammed, mother of Kemeru is one of Kumbi community women who are attending coffee-conversation since the commencement of the project.
Zubeyda comments, “Because of awareness I got from the coffee conversation program, I am able to save my daughter I have raised all alone following her dad’s death. She didn’t even tell me what happened out of fear of I may not let her attend makeup class afterward, which is logically right if it were me before the discussion. The guy stopped messing around to marry my little daughter either convincing or forcing her after the school’s serious instant reaction following my report. I couldn’t be more grateful to imagine1day and EAC for empowering us with the capacity to shield our children from such kind of bad habits taken as a culture across the entire community.”
As an elder daughter in her family, Kemeru supports her mother in doing the household chore but in a way it doesn’t impact her education.
Kemeru says “I used to be so busy at home as my mother has to take care of the farm. It was me who fetches water, makes coffee, cooks the meal, milk cows, cleans the house, and does laundry. But not since my mom started to attend the coffee conversation organized by our school. Her attitude about the value of education has changed for good. She lets me give priority to my education. My mom even follows-up on how my schooling is going and she gives me adequate time to study.”
Kemeru is a top five student despite the challenges she had been facing only because she is female. She is also an active participant of extracurricular activities in her school – she is secretary in the gender club.
“I stood fifth in my class last year and I am studying hard to be in the top three. Thanks to imagine1day and EAC I now am focused only on my education – I am liberated from the fear of early marriage. The fact that the school facilities are fulfilled, and the overall environment is attractive is so encouraging. I want to be an engineer while I complete my education so that I can construct quality schools in remote areas like my community. But above all, I want to be a role model for girls in villages like Kumbi. I am grateful to imagine1day, EAC, Costa foundation and Run for Water for implementing this project in my community.”