GST programs aims at creating violent-free learning environment, during reflection meeting GST Committee members gave…
Velediana K. Johanes is a Standard 7 pupil at Kagondo A Primary School, located in Muleba District, Kagera Region. She wants to study up to the University level and become a human rights lawyer. Her aspiration is teacher Adelaida Paulo, who always follows up on pupils’ welfare and rights, including the rights of the community members. Velediana is a good student, and ranked 3rd among 80 pupils in the last term exams.
Her education journey is not an easy one. Lack of electricity and sometimes even food were among the challenges. She witnessed some of her schoolmates drop out of school due to cases of pregnancy. To obtain money for food, she had to engage in farming.
Velediana lives with her mother and relatives in a rented house, and sometimes they don’t have money to pay rent. The secret to her success is to study whenever there is a free class. She says, “On Monday, I study Kiswahili; on Tuesday, Maths; on Wednesday, English; Thursday, Civics or Social Studies and on Friday, I resolve past paper exams.” She is happy when she ranks 1st, 2nd or 3rd in class.
As one of the 20 Champions in the P-VAC School club, supported by HakiElimu, Velediana learned to make reusable pads and says the pupils benefit from maintaining a vegetable garden at school. “The profit made from vegetables was used to buy a new cooking pot for the school and a uniform for one of the vulnerable students”, proudly says Velediana.
Velediana calls for the community to stop cheating girls out of school. Instead, they should pay attention to the needs of the pupils and assist in preventing children from dropping out of school due to a lack of necessities. She asks the Government, political leaders, community and CSOs/ NGOs to protect pupils and ensure their rights are protected. She also wishes to see electricity in her school, so they can study during the days when it is dark, such as during the rainy season.