Posted on November 8, 2019
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At ACT, we believe every child has the right to an education and they should be supported to do so irrespective of affordability. Whether it be primary school, secondary school or tertiary education or through the entire journey, we want to make education available to all. Life is like a game of heads or tails. Land on heads, you are given the path where you can have the life that you choose to lead. Land on tails, you are faced with a life of poverty that can seem impossible to get out of. For those that do land on tails, we want to do what we can to bring them out of poverty and give them the opportunities that they deserve. Nearly two thousand children in 8 African countries are benefitting from our child sponsorship programme.
For many children who through being disadvantaged are not going to school because they are poor and have no one to sponsor the, university education particularly is out of reach, yet it is an opportunity that can be life transforming for an African child. Since 2006, an increasing number of ACT supported children have been able to go to university with our support. In our blog this week we tell the stories of two such people who through ACT have received university education and are now taking the next steps in the transformations taking place in their lives.
“Because of ACT, today I can help other people to gain a bright future”
Born in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Jacques lived a happy life with his parents and three siblings. However, in the Christmas of 1997, his life was turned upside down when his father died of malaria. Jacques was aged just 11. His father’s relatives were unable to assist his mother or provide any support for him and his younger brother, Ismael. Eventually they had to return to their village as his mother who was unemployed was unable to provide for the needs of her children and even their education. According to Jacques, “even in the village we were marginalised”. They were a family right at the bottom. The children could no longer go to school, as their mother could no longer afford to pay the school fees. But in 2000, there was a ray of light when the family was introduced to ACT, which had just started operating in Burkina Faso. His mother met in country director, Constantin, who after hearing her story registered her two children for ACT support. This covered the cost of school fees, school items, clothing as well as food and health care support, which got the two children through 10 years of primary, secondary and high school. They both continued their education, at the University of Ouagadougou, where Jacques studied English and his brother Ismael studied History and Archaeology. In 2014 Jacques graduated with a BA in English. He was now able to fulfil his dream of becoming a teacher. He followed this with a postgraduate diploma in education, specialising in deaf education. He is currently Vice Principal at a school for deaf children in Ouagadougou. He married in Sephora in 2015 and this year they had their first child. Jacques still feels burdened to give back wherever he can. He chairs the ACT Alumni in Burkina Faso and also volunteers for a small charity working with disabled children.
Kayode Israel Ifeoluwa
“With ACT’s help I’ve been able to progress closer to my life’s ambition”
Kayode Ifeoluwa was born in Lagos, Nigeria. He lost his father to liver cancer in 2013 when he was 11 years old. His mother was left to care for him and his three younger siblings. It was a terrible time for his mother, a primary school teacher, looking after three young children and struggling to make ends meet with the meagre income she earned as a school teacher. It was in the midst of her despair that two years after the passing of her husband she found out about ACT from our partners, ICL, Ipaja. We heard her story and began supporting Kayode’s education. He completed secondary school, passing both the West African Exams Council (WAEC) and Nigerian Exams Council (NECO) and obtained the grades to apply for university admission. He is currently at the Adekunle Ajasin University studying for a BA in History and International Studies. Kayode’s dream is to have a positive impact on the lives of young people around him in Nigeria.