Esther’s Endeavours to Education

Stories from the Field      3 min read


Esther believes education is her ticket to better opportunities.


In Tanzania, 16-year-old Esther faces many challenges on her way to school. She walks a long distance of eight kilometers every day with her friends, encountering dangerous animals and the constant fear of being sexually abused.


“On our way to school, we may come across various dangerous animals such as hippopotamus and crocodiles or people ambushing girls to abuse sexually,” she says. “We are afraid because we don't have someone to accompany us.”


Esther's parents, who are farmers, initially saw no need to send her to school due to the distance and the fact that education was not mandatory for girls. However, Esther believed that education could open doors to better opportunities and was eager to learn, even if it meant starting school later than her peers.


As she grows older, the risk of sexual violence increases and the fact that her country is suffering from a crippling drought further exacerbates her vulnerability. Every day, she arrives late to school as she has to walk further to collect water in the morning. This causes her to finish her schoolwork later and ends up walking home in the dark.


At Esther’s school in Tanzania, girls travel to and from school in groups to protect themselves against sexual violence.


Recognising these risks, the teachers at Esther's school, with support from World Vision, have been trained to identify signs of sexual violence. They have also established a network of community guardians to ensure the safety of the students. Female pupils often report being chased by men, and the guardians follow up on such incidents, providing a safe environment for the children to commute to and from school.


Educating girls like Esther is crucial in ending extreme poverty.

At Esther’s school, more than half of them are sponsored, but the training and resources that World Vision’s Child Sponsorship funds benefits the entire school including the provision of new classrooms, a school feeding programme, and a literacy programme for struggling students. As a result, the school has become the top-performing institution in the district.


Despite this achievement, the teachers remain concerned about the safety of the girls. They prioritise safety over academic performance. One measure they take is encouraging the girls to leave school in groups to mitigate the risks. However, the ultimate goal is to build two satellite schools closer to the areas where the girls reside.



This would mean girls like Esther would no longer have to walk to school in fear, while other girls who aren’t in school would have more incentive to attend.


Education of girls is one of the biggest keys to ending extreme poverty. Sponsoring a girl and giving her access to education makes a significant difference in her life, offering her the chance for a better future, while also benefitting her family and community for generations.


“I enjoy learning new things so that I can teach my parents who have not been to school,” says Esther.


Join the movement to sponsor a girl by 11 October, the International Day of the Girl, and help girls like Esther stay in school for a future free of fear.



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