Joy, heartbreak and a determination for change
Bidil Abdulahi has experienced joy and heartbreak in his attempt to send his children to school. Now he’s on a mission to ensure all the children in his village get a chance to learn.
Every day, Bidil would farewell his oldest son, sent off on a one hour walk to the nearest school. “It was a long walk for a child,” he says, “but I didn’t want my child to be as illiterate as I am.”
The decision paid off, with his son Yunus now in college.
Bidil’s daughter was not as fortunate.
“My daughter Seudi dropped out of school due to sexual violence on her way to school. She got married at such an early age. She is now a mother of a child. That’s not what I wish for my children. I want my children to grow up well-educated and become teachers or doctors.”
imagine1day started working in Bidil’s village in 2013, and two years ago built the brand new Welkite Primary School to give the community’s children the quality education they need.
It may have been too late for his daughter, but Bidil was determined other children wouldn’t experience the same fate.
“As a Parent-Teacher Association member, I actively work with my community to make sure that all children go to school and stay in school,” says Bidil.
“When children drop out of school, we go home-to-home and talk to parents to make sure that the children return to school. Last year, for example, as a result of our follow-up, 19 of the school dropouts returned to school within a short period of time.”
Bidil and his fellow Parent-Teacher Association members received training from imagine1day on community mobilization, to drive enrolment and local support for their school.
They delivered: the school now boasts a 100% net enrolment rate, up from just 31% three years ago. An extra 202 children are enrolled, and 86% attend every day up from 29%.
At imagine1day, we know it’s not just the books and bricks we supply that make a difference. It’s also the actions of the inspiring people like Bidil that we work with.
Hats off to you, Bidil.
Read the final report from our three years working with Welkite Primary School [PDF]. This school was funded with support from our partner Educate a Child, along with the proceeds from the imagine1day USA Foundation Gala in 2015. Thanks to everyone that attended.