Back to school after an interruption of 4 years
After being unschooled, Rachel returned to school thanks to an education pilot project for girls in Kasaï.
Whenever Rachel puts on her uniform and makes her way to school, she thinks only about her future. Yet, the 21-year-old young woman has had to overcome many obstacles that could have prevented her from wanting to advance. After losing her father when she was 17, Rachel went to live with her uncle as her mother was ill and could no longer look after her. "I became pregnant, and the father of my child left me", explained Rachel who felt totally lost despite her uncle’s concern.
After giving birth, the young Mom opened a small restaurant in the village of Shamutoma in Kamonia in Kasaï province. "It was my uncle who gave me a bit of money and I bought some flour and a few condiments that allowed me to open my restaurant", explained Rachel who can now look after her son, Gédéon, thanks to the revenues. "My greatest wish was to return to school", admits Rachel who always wanted to study again.
When Rachel’s uncle heard about a chance for girls to return to school, he immediately encouraged the young Mom to apply. "I received a uniform, a school bag, and some scribblers and am now in a remediation course", she says. Thanks to this new approach, Rachel has re-integrated into school after several years of being away. "I want to complete my studies to become a salesperson in a store", added Rachel.
Thanks to the generous support of the British Embassy in DRC, UNICEF is implementing a pilot project in the Kamonia territory to improve access to quality education for vulnerable children, in particular girls. This project responds to all the issues related to girls’ schooling and reinforces teachers’ capacities, empowers young women and girls, and fights against gender-based sexual violence.