November 18, 2022
For as long as she can remember, Nuru, a Grade 10 student enrolled in Room to Read’s Girls’ Education Program in Tanzania, has been passionate about the environment. Seeing how waste was accumulating on her school campus, she decided to form an environmentally focused action and advocacy group, translated as “Group for Cleaning the Environment.” The goal was simple: organize her classmates to clean their campus and their local green spaces and inspire others to do the same.
“With life skills lessons, we learn how to build self-confidence and self-awareness,” Nuru reflected. “We learn how to make decisions, communicate and solve problems creatively.” These skills, she believes, prepared her to lead the Group for Cleaning the Environment.
Nuru and her classmates now collect plastic waste along with remnant fabric from tailor shops that would otherwise be thrown away. Girls then use the materials to make jump ropes, door mats and other woven products that they later sell to members of their community. The idea of selling their products was also born from life skills lessons.
“Financial literacy is one of the key life skills we focus on in Room to Read’s Girls’ Education Program,” said Nuru’s teacher, Gift. “Girls are taught to manage their finances and make key economic and social decisions that allow them to thrive.”
Nuru primarily uses her earnings to pay for transportation to and from school, and to support other students in the Girls’ Education Program. The life skills taught through the program, she notes, “have not only taught us to conserve the environment, but also how to use the resources available in our environment to earn a living.”