14 March 2014

Eunice's fight for education



3/14/2014: Eunice was only eight years old when her father was killed in an attack on their community. After his death, Eunice and her younger brother had no one to turn to until SOS Children’s Villages Jos in Nigeria stepped in and gave them a home.  
 
From the moment Eunice’s SOS Mother met her, she was struck by how calm and easy-going the young girl was. As she adjusted to her new home, it became clear that she had not yet attended school. Her SOS Mother hoped that Eunice would be able to go to primary school, even though she was far behind her peers academically. 
 
Following consultations with the kindergarten and primary school teachers, Eunice's mother decided that the best course of action would be for her to start with kindergarten classes. This would allow her to start an academic journey at her own pace. 
 
Eunice's SOS Mother realized that attending class with children much younger than her may not be easy for Eunice to accept. She spent time with Eunice's kindergarten teacher and they established a plan to support her integration into the group of children. 
 
As they had feared, Eunice's first day was a difficult one. She was by far the tallest in her class and, as she was starting in the middle of the term, she didn’t yet have friends to talk to or play with. Also, unlike the other children in the class, Eunice could not speak English or understand basic English words.
 
Eunice's kindergarten teacher did all she could to ease Eunice's transition into school. Relying on her patience, humor and some extra lessons, Eunice soon began to enjoy her days at kindergarten.
 
The teacher, however, noted that Eunice was still not reaching her full potential. She called Eunice's mother for a meeting, and they decided to have her sight and hearing tested.  
 
Sure enough, tests indicated that Eunice had hearing and visual impairments. Fortunately, her sight could be corrected with glasses and she was able hear the teacher clearly by sitting in the front of the classroom. 
 
Soon, Eunice became more interested in her lessons, and more outgoing. She began to make friends at the kindergarten.
 
This year, Eunice is in the second class of the kindergarten. She can now speak and understand simple English sentences and is eager to learn more. She can write her numbers from one to six hundred and can even read some three-letter words. She also has big dreams for the future—one day, Eunice would like to be a pilot. With the careful, loving support of her SOS family and teachers, she’s certain to excel and soar into a fulfilling and exciting future.