Komera was one of our first partners, with our first uniform distribution about a year and a half after we began operations. In January of 2013 we provided uniforms to 75 girls. In the past six months through our partnership, we have provided 1,049 uniforms! How’s that for growth?! You’ll read that Scovia attends FAWE Girls Boarding School. Tailored for Education visited FAWE on our very first partner trip in June of 2013! We remember every detail of that trip as if it were just last week.
Scovia describes her early life as uncertain. Raised by her elderly grandmother, she didn’t know how she would find money for food, shoes and clothes, transportation, or school fees. But thanks to Komera, she has been blessed with everything she needs, including the opportunity to attend FAWE Girls Boarding School, receive ongoing training through Komera leadership camps during school breaks, and gain continuous support from caring mentors.
Scovia has emerged as a strong leader within Komera and within her community, not only during the past two years, but especially during the pandemic. Returning home to Rwinkwavu when the COVID-19 outbreak closed FAWE and all of the other boarding schools, she has demonstrated all of the skills the program has worked to cultivate in her— including gathering a group of girls in her community to mentor and support during this difficult time.
“Before I joined komera, I lacked confidence,” Scovia confesses, “but speaking english during the Komera leadership camps has given me the tools to speak in front of a crowd and achieve high grades at school.”
“When I returned home in March of 2020, I saw a big difference between the other girls in the community and me and decided to start a program for those left behind,” Scovia explains. “I wanted to show them what is possible. First, I gathered five 13-year-old girls and began educating them in the things I knew. Then I told each of them to find five friends who needed support, and now we are up to 30, not only from my village but also from other villages, and our group is increasing.”
With help from Ruth, Komera’s social worker manager, Scovia is able to arrange regular phone calls to see how the girls in her group are doing. These girls face the same problems she faced — not enough materials to achieve their goals, no resources to pay school fees, and parents who do not know how to get help. They fear that they are weak and lack someone to guide them, causing many to despair and turn to the streets or early marriage for a way out. The older scholars and Komera staff (whom Scovia calls “Aunties”) provide inspiration, ideas, encouragement, and support to help them face these challenges.
“Dativah loves girls and women; She has taught me that nothing is impossible if you work hard,” Scovia beams. “Komera is a large family that inspires and supports us. My hope for Komera in the future is that all of the girls they reach will return to their home communities and become social change agents.”
What is Scovia’s educational goal? “I want to become a doctor, and therefore I am working hard to earn high marks in my combination subjects — math, chemistry, and biology.” She has one more year of secondary school and then plans to attend university.
“I don’t know how I can thank you. You saved me—from trouble, problems, no parents, no money… You changed my life.”Scovia expressed appreciation for support from Komera.
“I want to see that everyone is in a good position, free from suffering; I want to be an agent for social change,” she asserts. When asked what leadership qualities she values in herself, Scovia answers, “Passion, kindness, honesty, neutrality, and respect for time. Komera has shaped me in all ways, changing me from a young girl who was too shy to stand in front of a crowd to someone who can do anything without fear, knowing that she will succeed.”