A 3 to 4 hour walk to school and a complex family situation would have forced Sushmita and Sangeeta from the Chepang community to stop their studies. The Chepang Home, designed for this isolated ethnic group, gave them the keys to a better future.
Sangeeta is 16 years old, she was born in a poor family with her 2 brothers and sisters. She lives in the mountains, far from the cities. To go to the equivalent of high school in France, she had to walk about 3 hours. Tiredness and lack of motivation from her relatives pushed her to abandon her studies.
The Chepang home arrived for her as "a second chance in her school career. Exhausted, she had lost confidence in herself and had fallen behind. To get back on track, the Chepang home offers tutoring, which is a real opportunity for her: "The courses are very instructive. I don't hesitate to ask questions because the teachers listen to me. They have given me more confidence in myself and this will be decisive for my future exams.
Now in her 10th year, she is preparing to obtain a national diploma equivalent to the Bac, which will provide her with a solid foundation to continue her studies at university and enter the job market.
Sushmita is 15 years old and the fourth of five children born to farming parents. In her family, dreams of the future do not extend further than her village. Her sisters did not go beyond elementary school because of the distance but also because of the old traditions that prevent young girls from becoming emancipated.
But Sushmita did not want to suffer the same fate as her sisters. The Chepang home allowed her to believe in her dreams. She can now continue her studies in a healthy environment that is conducive to her development. She is aware that her life would not be the same without this boarding school:
"My parents would have married me by now if I hadn't gone to the shelter. That's what happened to my sisters. So I'm so happy that I can dream of a different future.
In addition to tutoring, Foyer Chepang also offers sports classes, career counseling, and literary activities.
Like us, they are now waiting for the construction of this new boarding school to be completed. Adapted to the safety and sanitary standards, this new 300m2 eco-friendly building will meet all the criteria to accompany the young girls of the Chepang community in their journey.
March 23, 2021