postheadericon Hope for the Future

Last week we visited the MaaSAE Lutheran Girls School sponsored by Operation Bootstrap Africa (http://www.bootstrapafrica.org/).   We have provided and set up used laptops in the past and had some additional laptops for the school that arrived on the container.

This school is critical for MaaSAE girls as the Headmaster Dr. Smsinjili explained because it gives them economic independence in a culture where the biggest challenge is forced marriages and a life of servitude.  Girls are legally protected for primary school but secondary school is usually not an option as parents do not want to waste their resources when she will be leaving the family anyway and they will receive a dowry of cattle as soon as she is married off.

Dr. Smsinjili shared stores of how many of girls end up in the school.   Most are on scholarship or sponsored by a specific donor.  The girls come directly from primary school immediately after their final exam. The school does not tell the parents because they don’t want them to be able to stop them from coming and many times the girls don’t know even though most have a dream of going to secondary school.   In some cases, the girls have gone home after their exam and are married within a day at the age of 13 or 14.   If the parents come to the girls school the police are called because the girls are protected as soon as they start.  Parents used to send warriors to take the girls out by force but this practice has stopped with the involvement of the police.

The girls are able to go home after they are assured of their safety.  They work closely with the family and the village to help them understand why they are in school and why it is important.  They do not dream of completely converting the family but hope for the conversion of the next generation.

The girls we met dream of becoming doctors, chemists, and teachers.  They are the hope for the future!

 

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