Solène thought that the graduation was wonderful, but she was more interested in talking about what she and her family had achieved during 18 months. “When you look at where we’ve gotten at graduation: we have a four-room house, we didn’t have livestock and now we have three goats and a pig. And we send the kids to school without any problems.”
She herself made it through the sixth grade and has occasionally worked as a primary school teacher over the years, so it was especially hard on her when she couldn’t send her own kids to school. Now that she is able to pay for their school, she’s taking their education very seriously. She held them back at the end of last year to repeat first grade. They had passed, but she wasn’t satisfied. This year is different. “They’re starting to understand their schoolwork. They’ll be able to move up this year.”
She found have Ricot, her case manager, working with her every week to be an especially helpful part of the program. “He gave me good advice and helped me to save. When I needn’t to get something important done, he helped me clear the path by letting me use what I had saved. When someone is willing to teach you to manage your things so you can care for your kids, that’s the best thing there is.”
She has plans moving forward. She will work to continue to manage what she has carefully, not letting anything go to waste, and to invest in her children. She’s already purchased an unborn cow. It’s a cheap way to buy one. And the cow should be born in April. It should be weaned and in her hand by the end of the year.