Young people make up the majority of the world’s population. We need to have access to quality education so that we are able to implement change in our communities.
Ibrahim Bockarie is from the Pujehun community, in the Kailahun District of Sierra Leone. He is passionate about pursuing his education and becoming a teacher. He believes that education is an important way to help young people from his community, grow and achieve their dreams.
Unfortunately, once Ibrahim graduated from high school in 2014, he was unable to attend college because of a lack of funds and familial support.
In Ibrahim’s community, many parents do not believe in the value of education. They see education as a slow means to earning and becoming financially independent. They prefer that their children start working immediately after school – often in agricultural settings. As they believe that they will start to earn more immediately, and be able to support their families. There are also high rates of dropouts from school, teenage pregnancies, and child marriage, in Ibrahim’s community.
Ibrahim’s Volunteering Journey
Ibrahim began volunteering with Restless Development through the Every Adolescent Girl Empowered and Resilient project in 2019. The program focuses on improving learning outcomes in basic literacy and numeracy, life skills, and business skills for 32,500 adolescent out-of-school girls across Sierra Leone. The project’s first year reached 7,500 school Adolescent girls in 10 districts of the country.
I am very excited to be one of the facilitators of the EAGER program, this program has played a vital role in my life.Ibrahim
As a facilitator of the programme, he engaged directly with the community, and interacted with children and young people – further cementing his desire to become a teacher formally.
Despite taking the WASSCE examination (West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination), I was unable to join university. As a result of the EAGER programme, and the stipend that I was able to save – I am proud to say that I am a graduate of the Bunumbu Teachers CollegeIbrahim
Through his tenure as a facilitator, Ibrahim saved his stipend, and enrolled in the Bunumbu Teachers College, with the aim of achieving a teachers certificate. Ibrahim is a role model in the community for those who want to complete their education, but are unable to. He has formed an “Osusu” group in the community. Every month, one member of the group receives the monthly stipend of a rotating facilitator. Thereby providing start-up support to help drop-outs pursue their educational dreams.
My enrollment encouraged my fellow facilitators and mentors to also seek out teachers’ certifications. We formed Osusu (Thrift) group that allowed a majority of us to enroll in the Bunumbu Teachers College. Today, most of us have either graduated or are in second and third years of study.Ibrahim
As the project and his volunteering period is ending, Ibrahim is looking forward to obtaining a teaching job in one of the schools here in his community. He hopes to continue the legacy of the project “leave no girl behind” while enjoying his long-awaited teaching dream.