Finding a small place in the poor locality was our first struggle but we found an understanding landlord. However, the biggest difficulty was to get the girls to school – this area did not see any reason to educate girls – they were only to work at home! But we begged, insisted, threatened if necessary and succeeded – our school had more girls than boys and mothers learnt to value them! Older girls were also welcomed and taught basic reading and writing together with needlework, cutting and sewing so that they would be able to enter the earning sector.
The little Sofia school started work in a rented flat, had to move to another where the rent rocketed each year. This was wasting money given for the good of the children. So a generous friend, principal of a big school, welcomed us to his premises after their school closed, in the afternoons. What a blessing! Our biggest struggle is to find the money to pay the teachers adequately. Many friends have helped with little or large gifts and the children have prospered!
The struggles of the children are greater than ours – getting to school on time after their work at home, getting homework done!, arriving in clean clothes, braving the rain and the cold with only a single dress sometimes to wear, above all, learning English, a language that is rarely spoken at home! But they are determined! And when they enter the government school in Std IV or V they are at the top of the class! Their joy!
“…when you educate a girl you educate a whole family.”