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Girls learning through lockdowns

POSTED May 17, 2023

Girls learning through lockdowns

Nilda, 10, overcame all the disruptions caused by pandemic lockdowns in Paraguay thanks to online support program that kept her education on track.

Nilda smiling

The “Girls-7” Series: Nilda in Paraguay

Seven girls overcoming discrimination, deprivation and even danger, in seven different places. They share a common courage: to dream fearlessly in the face of adversity. They are examples of the importance of education, which offers a lifeline to safety today and the hope for a better future tomorrow, for both them and their community. This month in response to the G7 summit, Children Believe is calling on global leaders to create greater educational access for girls as a key solution to many major global challenges, not a problem to be fixed.

Like most children in her community, Nilda’s education was deeply affected by the pandemic lockdowns and school closures in her country. The grade one student was having a hard time learning as she struggled to understand her lessons and homework with limited access to needed technology.

Her family quickly realized the critical importance of maintaining Nilda’s education during a time when children are learning the fundamentals of reading and writing. They discovered an online education program funded by Children Believe that provides students with support teachers for extra support. Soon Nilda was paired up with her support teacher Yeni to help her navigate through her studies.

Nilda and her family together, smiling

“When assignments were sent through the cellphone, sometimes I couldn’t do it because I didn’t understand and had no one to help me,” Nilda says. “My mother found out about the program that provided school support service to children and we took the opportunity. So, Yeni enrolled me to be her student. Thanks to her, I understood my tasks, I learned to read and write and that was the most beautiful thing. My mother was very happy and proud of me for that.”

Through hard work, determination and the extra help she received, Nilda kept on learning and passed first grade. And thanks to ongoing support she went on to pass grade two as well, despite the ongoing pandemic and different learning environment.

Finally back in school, Nilda dreams of continuing her learning success and becoming a teacher.

“My biggest dream is to be like my support teacher Yeni,” Nilda says. “I want to be like her, patient and intelligent, so I can teach children as my teacher teaches me, to read and write. I want to be like my teacher when I grow up, and be a great teacher.”

Nilda tells her teachers and family two things above all: she does not want other children to go through what she went through by having their learning interrupted; and, she is determined to make a difference, to do her part, to help other children overcome their learning difficulties.

The critical need for education

The latest research shows that if all the world’s children received 12 years of education, their combined lifetime earnings would double to $30 trillion USD globally. Children like Nilda have the strength and resiliency to overcome the darkest challenges in order to dream fearlessly and build a new future. Children Believe is part of a global movement asking for Canadian and global support at the G7 summit to help 40 million more girls gain access to education.

Learn how you can help empower more young women like Nilda to not just survive, but thrive. 

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Children Believe works globally to empower children to dream fearlessly, stand up for what they believe in — and be heard. For 60+ years, we’ve brought together brave young dreamers, caring supporters and partners, and unabashed idealists. Together, we’re driven by a common belief: creating access to education — inside and outside of classrooms — is the most powerful tool children can use to change their world.

About ChildFund Alliance:

A member of ChildFund Alliance, Children Believe is part of a global network of child-focused development organizations working to create opportunities for children and youth, their families and communities. ChildFund helps nearly 23-million children and their families in 70 countries overcome poverty and underlying conditions that prevent children from achieving their full potential. We work to end violence against children; provide expertise in emergencies and disasters to ease the harmful impact on children and their communities; and engage children and youth to create lasting change and elevate their voices in decisions that affect their lives.

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