It’s been seven years since One New Education was founded, and our anniversary is always a good time to look back as well as forward. So it seems appropriate to start with the news we’ve received lately, some wonderful and some not so wonderful.
In terms of the disappointing news, we recently learned from our contact in Nicaragua that Teresa is pregnant, so she will no longer be a part of our program. This makes all of us here very sad, but the positive side of it is that she is, for now, committed to finishing her last year of high school. She can’t go to daily classes, so she has switched to Saturday classes. We will see what happens once the baby comes, but we hope with all our hearts that she continues and finishes high school, and keeps moving forward to her future. It can be done; Glenda is still in nursing school, even though she has a little boy and has to try and work to help support the family. Teresa certainly has the spark and the intelligence to do that, let’s just hope that she continues to try.
This made us think a little about how many girls that have left the program over the past seven years, and the reasons why. Here is the breakdown:
14 girls have left the program for various reasons.
Ana Regina, Yulisa, Yosmaris, Glenda, Teresa, and Klaudina dropped because they either didn’t follow the rules of the program, dropped out of school, or they got married and pregnant (Ana Regina, Teresa, and Glenda). Of these:
- Glenda finished high school with a baby, entered college and just started her third year of nursing school.
- Yosmaris continued on and graduated from high school on her own in 2016.
- Klaudina finished high school in November of 2017 and will go on to the university in September of 2018
Andi, Bhumi, and Guddi left the program because their families moved away.
Mamte had to leave the program because her parents were becoming abusive as she became more educated.
Swostika had to leave the program because the state forced her to go live in an orphanage, where there already is a school.
Karina and Alicia left the program because they graduated.
Camila left the program because she didn’t need our help as much as other students. She is still in school being supported by family from the United States and she is doing incredibly well.
So of 14 girls, about 40% left the program of their own accord because they just didn’t follow our requirements or they got pregnant. The others left because of circumstances that are not always under anyone’s control. Or because they graduated!
We recognize that we will not always be successful in keeping all our girls in school and onto university or careers, but we’re proud of our record in helping several stay focused on education. It’s one reason we don’t want to get too large, so that we can maintain a connection with all of them. We know more girls will leave the program, some through graduation, and some because of choices that we wish they wouldn’t make, but we also know that many more will join the program and continue to thrive.
The other side of the coin of which Teresa is one side is young Linda Maria in Honduras, who is growing up so fast and doing so well in school. With the support and encouragement of her family, she understands the value of education and is working her hardest. She really is thriving!
She remains on the high honor roll (click to enlarge)
Valentine’s Day at school (click to enlarge)
All I want for Christmas… (click to enlarge)
Prachis was chosen Artist of the month last August (click to enlarge)
And then there is young Prachi, in India. She struggles a bit in school, but is pursuing her art with a fervor. Late last summer she was named Artist of the Month by a local organization, and she received a certificate and a big mug with her face on it. We recognize that an “education” doesn’t always mean plain old school work. Although that is really important, we love to see our girls follow their passions, and Prachi is most certainly passionate about art! Please go to her page to see all the most recent photos, but here are a few to make you smile.
Prachi and her art teacher (click to enlarge)
Prachi and all her friends from art class in front of an exhibit of her art (click to enlarge)
Though it would be great if they all made your goals, clearly you’re doing a fantastic job at the percentage that graduate and go on. Those pesky pregnancies – Geez. Any way they can get contraceptives in their areas?
Hi Judy! Yes, this is what is so hard about Teresa in particular. There are free monthly birth control shots at the hospital in town. She even was taught about them in a sex ed class we helped put together for the older girls. But we are going to work with the older girls in December when I’m back and really push the idea to them.
Any idea what the barriers are to seeking this free birth control? Are longer-term methods available instead of the monthly shots? Thanks for all the good you’ve accomplished!