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Nadia wants to become a teacher

June 28th, 2023

Nadia (6) lives in rural Tanzania and recently started attending primary school. The girl is in grade three and is very eager to learn. Sadly, she did not have a carefree childhood; two years ago she tragically lost her leg due to violence. Althoughshe is doing well now, she is still vulnerable in the community she is growing up in.

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Nadia (6) woont op het platteland in Tanzania.
Nadia (6) woont op het platteland in Tanzania.

'An uncircumcised girl with a disability is considered a double curse'

Root cause

Nadia comes from a family where there was a lot of domestic violence. When she was four years old, it went horribly wrong. She managed to survive the violence, but to save her life, her leg had to be amputated.

After she was released from the hospital, she went to live with her grandmother. They live in a simple hut and have to make ends meet on the little money grandma earns growing vegetables. But Nadia´s safety is not yet assured. People in her community believe that a child with a disability brings bad luck and is a curse to the family. These children are more likely to face discrimination, violence and exploitation. Girls are more at risk of undergoing female genital mutilation, as an uncircumcised girl with a disability is considered a double curse.

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Systemic change

Fortunately, staff from our local partner organisation met Nadia. Together with the team, we advocate for the rights  of children, especially girls, who are vulnerable to female genital mutilation and child marriage. Nadia's grandmother was initially in favour of FGM and early marriage. However, after we educated her on the dangers, she is now more aware about the serious consequences. Moreover, she has learned the importance of education for her granddaughter's development and future. We also provide awareness raising sessions to the community, involving local leaders and other key actors such as local government officials  to garner support for ending these harmful tradition.

Apart from education, Nadia has received further assistance to break the negative cycle. With the help of a prosthesis, she can walk again. Moreover, she receives psychosocial support to cope with the  trauma she experienced. Nadia has recently started attending school. She is having a great time; she enjoys learning and likes to play with her new friends during breaks.

Next year, Nadia wants to join the children's rights club at school; she has already learned a lot about her own rights and wants to share them with other children.

Despite her grandmother struggling financially, she is supportive of her granddaughter going to school. Nadia is already dreaming of a bright future: "Later I will become a teacher so I can inspire other children and earn enough to help grandma."

Nadia is moving towards a better future. Wouldn’t you wish this for every child?

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