Emma is one of The Buturi Project’s success stories. Her mother died of polio when Emma was eighteen months old, leaving Emma with a year-old brother and three-year-old sister. Her father married another woman with more children, so there was not enough food for Emma and her siblings. We met Emma when we first visited Buturi. All the village kids came to the chairwoman’s house to see these strange white people, and ended up camping out with us throughout our stay. Most of the children went back home after we left, but Emma stayed on and has now lived with the village chairwoman for several years. She started at the village early learning centre (under a tree!) at the age of three. She is now twelve going on thirteen, and is a year ahead in secondary school, because she is so bright. She is head girl at secondary school, even though she is only in her third year there.
She walks to secondary school every school day, starting out at five o’clock in the morning (school starts at seven) and getting home just after eight in the evening. There are no street-lights, so a large part of her journey is in the pitch black, both morning and evening. It is so dark, it makes no difference whether your eyes are open or shut.
A secondary education is Emma’s escape route out of poverty. However, her journey to and from school is causing problems:-
– She is spending four hours every day just walking to and from school, with no proper shoes, just second-hand flip-flops.
– By the time she has had something to eat in the evening, there is no time for extra study or homework, and she would be too tired to study in any case.
– She is at risk of being attacked or raped on her journey. If she is raped, and becomes pregnant, her secondary education will come to an end.
– Walking in the dark, she is at risk of being bitten by a poisonous snake, or stung by a scorpion.
– There is also the risk of her being attacked by wild animals – hyenas or a baboon.
All these risks would be eliminated if Emma could board at her secondary school. However, her foster family cannot afford the fees for her to board – they are already struggling to find the money for her books and uniform. We feel very strongly that Emma is worth helping to complete her education, and so we are appealing for sufficient funds to keep Emma in a boarding school for the rest of her education. Any donation, no matter how small, will be gratefully received.
Costs for a year’s secondary school are as follows:-
- £300 Boarding fees
- £180 Food
- £150 Books, stationery etc.
- £100 Uniform etc.
- £730 Total for a year.
With thanks in anticipation for your kind donation and support. To learn more about the project please go to the web site www.buturi-project.orgor e-mail us.