Diyé T. and Marieme D. and are young women that exemplify the power education can have to change a life.
Diyé’s mother makes around 30 cents a day selling nuts and other small commerce at the local market. She had no education and grew up in a small village, marrying a man that her family had arranged. She left her family and joined him in Nouakchott (the capital of Mauritania).
Like her mother, Diyé could also not attend school. Her family did not have money for schoolbooks, and Diyé’s mom needed her to work in the house and care for her younger sister. Diyé walks with a limp because she was sick as a young girl and her mother did not have enough money to take her to a doctor; a local person gave her a bad injection that deformed her foot.
Diyé’s mother said, “I want my daughter to go to school so she will not end up like me, a fourth wife with nothing to offer my children and no choice to have a better living.”
Marieme has 45 brothers and sisters. Four of her sisters became prostitutes in order to find food and to help the family. Mariem’s mother could only afford to rent one small room furnished with thin mats so most of the kids had to find other places to sleep including the street. She and one of her sisters are the only girls in the family that go to school.
Both girls have been in our program with ANFE for over five years. As a result of the program, Marieme has been top of her class and is now doing well in high school; her sisters are no longer prostitutes. Diyé has also been top of her class and is expected to complete primary school this year and go on to high school.
Both of the mothers have been active in microcredit groups for about two years and now have more income to rent another room for the family and provide the family with more nutritional meals.
Their characteristics are common among many of the girls that ANFE supports. They both come from very poor families. Both mothers are fourth wives that have very little authority and respect in the households. Before ANFE the girls did not have many opportunities in their lives, including having a basic education. Thank you for helping making opportunities like this possible for not only Marieme and Diyé, but hundreds of other girls in our program.