Hungry for Change, Devina Rose to New Heights
“I don't think I would have reached grade 13 if it was not for Room to Read.” Girls' Education participant
As one of eight children, Devina spent much of her young life yearning for more. After her father died when she was just two-years-old, her mother carried the weight of supporting the entire family. Every day she'd spend sun up to sun down, selling fruits on the streets of the local village, trying to earn enough to put food on the table and fund basic school supplies for each child.
Despite her mother's arduous efforts, Devina often went to school hungry, eating just one meal each day.
Her chances for staying in school looked grim. That is until she discovered Room to Read’s Girls’ Education Program.
"I received this blessing when she reached grade 11," says Devina's mother. "Room to Read came and helped her. They gave her books to last for three years, pens, shoes, and school fees. I'm so grateful to Room to Read. I love you all and I don't know how to repay you."
Beyond material support, Devina was given a mentor, known as a social mobilizer, who helped guide her through daily challenges. Most importantly, she was armed with life skills - classes that built her confidence, helped her better understand her body and health, and even aided in planning her schedule to ensure she had enough study time to excel on advancement exams.
Today, as a 14th grader, Devina has a different kind of hunger - a hunger to learn, grow, and pull herself out of the poverty cycle.
Together, we can give more girls the gift of possibility.
The Big Picture
In a country with a vast gender gap, girls like Devina struggle with more than just trying to afford school supplies and uniform costs.
With 90 percent of Tanzanians living on less than $2 a day, the poverty cycle is ever-present. With that, comes pressure to marry young to alleviate financial strain, which hints at why girls accounted for 63% of all secondary school dropouts in Tanzania.
Thankfully, our Girls' Education Program is gradually changing that. With the help of the program's Risk and Response Protocol social mobilizers also pay attention to key signs that signal when a girl will likely drop out such as, repeated school absences, failure to attend life skills education sessions, low performance on exams, and parents’ absence from parent meetings.
This early warning system, paired with the program's confidence-building life skills curriculum, has led to a impressively low dropout rate of just 1 percent.
Because of people like you, who chose to care and act, Devina is off to university and plans to be a lawyer - a future that otherwise would have likely remained out of reach. Room to Read has benefited nearly 3,000 girls in Tanzania since the program's inception.
You can help us empower more young women by becoming a monthly donor to support long-term, local growth and systemic change.
Closing Tanzania's Gender Gap
In 2010, girls accounted for 63% of all secondary school dropouts in Tanzania.Learn More about Tanzania
Reducing Dropout Rate to 1%
Tanzania's Risk and Response Protocol has led to incredibly low drop out rates.Learn how here