Many of our supporters have asked to learn more about the children we help.
The school looks beautiful and it is important to understand that this
serves as a sanctuary and place of calm, security as well as learning in an
otherwise extremely difficult environment. Here are some of our
students’ true stories, the names are omitted and other key
identifying details to protect their privacy.
A’s father is in a wheelchair (spinal injury), and his mother has no education. His mother used to be helped in the family home by his grandmother, but she died just over a year ago and shortly afterwards a new baby was born. A was neglected by his parents who could not cope. All last year he was not given lunch to bring to school, and his friends helped him and so did the teachers. This could not be sustained and so now to ensure he has at least one good meal per day, we have asked his sponsors to help him by buying him a proper lunch everyday (provided by a staff cook). Cost per year: $175.
B’s father died 3 years ago, when he was not yet a teenager, and his mother’s mental health has deteriorated. She has moved away from the region and is living in her home village. B is now living with relatives who are the mother and father of a girl who also attends the Nicolas School. The family of 9 all live in a single room about 3 km from the Nicolas School. His school fees are paid by his sponsor and these relatives receive his home support payment of $10/month to pay for his food and school supplies.
C is now 8 years old and his mother has died. He had an older brother who drowned as there was no one at home to look after him as his father was out working. C lives at home alone when his father is out working, he became rather naughty so our student welfare director Sara counselled him. Now he has improved in his school work, but he is not gaining weight as his diet is so poor. He often has to make his own lunch as his father works as a guard at night and also often in the days, as well. Sara is giving him extra plumpy nut and also extra food from the food programme. We are asking his sponsors to help him by buying him his lunch each school day (just $0.75/day)
D’s father has a bladder problem due to a war injury and has to use a bag for urine collection. D’s name means “complete” as her father thought he could not have children, and when she arrived his life was complete. She is near the top of her class, and is a bright student and surely a sign of future hope for her father.
E lived at home with her parents and elder brothers. Both her parents had been fighters at the time of the civil conflict and her mother was still working in the army. Her mother was posted with the Ethiopian peace-keeping force to South Sudan. While she was away she sent the money she earned home to her husband. He had to pay for a maid to cook and look after the house in her absence. However when returned from her duties, she found that her husband was living with another woman and her children were neglected. Their bedding was infested and the children had parasites in the skin. E’s mother divorced her husband and her son and daughter have now moved with her into rented accommodation. She has lost all her money and had to start again, so we have given her a job as a cleaner at the school and given her the first month’s rent from our emergency fund. Her older son is at University, so his costs are covered by the government, as long as he gives service when he qualifies (this is normal practice). E was a top student, but her grades dropped this year. However we are optimistic that now we have helped her mother re-establish herself the family will recover and we can help them all.
S is applying for university overseas and wrote the following about herself:
My name is S. I was born in Mekelle, the capital city of Tigray in Ethiopia. I went to school since I was 3 years old. I love schooling. I also love music and sports. I can speak different languages such as the local languages: Tigrigna and Amharic as well as international languages like English and Arabic.
I started singing when I was 3. When I was a little kid, I used to say that I want to be a superstar, then I started singing at the Nicolas Robinson School and that gave me an opportunity to sing on different stages. My biggest achievement so far in music is winning the 2016 talent show held in the city of Mekelle.
I am good at sport as well, I play basketball and soccer. I play soccer with my class mates, and I represent my class in competitions with other classes.
I am a member of Students Council in which we assess the weak and strong side of students and point out things that should be improved. Also, I am an assistant of the music, literature and charity clubs. The Charity Club, which I lead, collects money and clothes from students on holidays and festival days. Then we give the clothes to orphans and the money to the homeless and needy people. I am also involved in anti-addiction club, so l give advice to addicted people and it gives me internal satisfaction seeing them improve and live a healthy life. I have successfully completed a “TOT” training on School based HIV and harm reduction.
As I wrote, I love schooling. My favorite subjects are English, Biology, Civics and Ethics and also Mathematics. My hobbies are reading books, helping my family, and discussing current issues with my best friends.
I am a girl with so many dreams but one thing I truly want to work on is to be a role model for African girls. There are so many talented girls who must go outside and show their skills and talents to the world. But for some reasons they don’t. So what I will do is open opportunities for girls and I will make their voices heard. And I really hope that my dream will come true