Difficult circumstances facing numerous families around the country to a great extent affect children, and whenever timely necessary remedial measures aren’t taken to alleviate those situations their impact severely reverses all possibilities of the children enjoying their basic rights and thus negatively affecting their nascent lives.
An example of such a family can be found in Serengeti, Mara where we meet two young siblings, Magdalena (14) and Helena Julius (12), who had no bigger dream than to be in school with other students. They expected to start secondary school but their domestic circumstances appeared to throw a spanner in the works and curtail their dream to become teachers one day.
Magdalena and Helena have lived with their father for quite some time after their mother left as a result of an unbearably difficult life of poverty that she felt would never improve and therefore sought a better life elsewhere far from the family. Her absence meant that the entire responsibility of caring for the family fell in the hands of her husband Nyangige Mataro, who is unemployed and has no other means of income.
“The tough situation here has been the source of countless problems and as a result my children have become innocent victims because education which is vital for them has simply turned into an impossibility”, Mataro says openly.
For the two girls to go to school, Tsh.500,000 worth of supplies was needed, money that he simply didn’t have even so much as just a quarter of it. At this point the girls realized that they were facing the dire possibility of their dreams to change their lives being extinguished permanently. Their fear was made all the more intense by the fact that poverty was a reality that affected most families in their community.
The clear difference, however, between them and others was that their determina- tion to go to school pushed them to be forthcoming about the situation and their ability to articulate things moved people to listen to their plight. Their predicament gave rise to frequent talk among locals and some began turning the spotlight on children’s rights particularly education. This was a crucial step that to doors open- ing for them even without them expecting.