Mothers in Rural Africa Unite to Support Children’s Learning

Loveline Ayuvea is a single mother of three living in the Kumbo area of the Bui division in the North-West region of Cameroon. She was a teacher at GS Bamkikai, a government primary school, but when the Anglophone crisis began in late 2016 and schools were shut down, she was forced to transition to full-time farming so that she could make a living and feed her family.

Loveline on her way to the mobile library.
A young boy reads a book from one of Nascent’s mobile libraries.

Prolonged Crisis Disrupts Learning

Education in the North-West region of Cameroon has been severely impacted by the Anglophone crisis. Organized strikes against the formal education system and violence throughout the area threaten the ability for schools to reopen. Students and teachers risk being attacked, kidnapped, or killed on their way to school, and for almost five years, schools have mostly remained closed.

Nascent Adapts Program in the Face of Conflict

Nascent operates 92 schools in the affected region; however, only 35 of those schools are open currently. In response to the crisis, Nascent teams, the local government, partners, and the community came together to develop a solution that would give school-age children living in the area access to learning materials and lessons despite school closures. The Mobile Reading Program (MRP), which involves mobile libraries set up within safe walking distances from children’s homes, allows students to rent books and complete literacy lessons from home.

Mothers Stop at Nothing for Their Children’s Education

Driven by a passion for teaching, Loveline began volunteering as a library manager at one of the established libraries near her village. Recognizing that the mobile reading program was the sole source of learning for children in her community, she worked hard to split her time between her farm and the library. But as the situation intensified, more and more children who were kept home from school began enrolling in the program. Loveline struggled to meet the demands of the growing number of children now visiting the library while also tending to her farm so she could feed her family.

Loveline helps a student with her reading materials.
Students wait patiently for their turn to visit Loveline at the library

Fortunately, a group of dedicated mothers stepped in. Despite having to juggle household chores, tending to their own farms, and taking care of their children, the mothers offered to also work Loveline’s farms for her. They were determined to support the mobile reading program because they understood the benefit of the education their children receive through the libraries and the importance of the one-on-one lessons provided by Loveline.

 

“The mothers decided that their children’s learning is too important to give up, and they decided to work my farms so I can focus on helping the children. Now I can manage the library and my family will still have food to eat,” said Loveline.

The program, now reaching over 45,000 out-of-school children, continues to thrive as the conflict persists with the help of women like Loveline and mothers who take care of their community and are committed to keeping their children safely engaged in learning.

 

“I know that when schools reopen, the children in this community will be prepared to return to class,” stated Loveline.

 

If you are interested in supporting the mobile reading program and women like Loveline, please consider donating. Your donation can help us provide resources such as books, learning materials, and more.

Learn more about our education program activities here.

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