7-29-19  |  Our Programs Success Story

Francis and the road to education in the midst of adversity

BY: Grethel Halftermeyer

Teacher Francis gets ready for a long walk to reach the school where she teaches.

 

It’s 9:30 AM in Angel 2, Nicaragua. 25-year-old teacher Francis – who is 5 months pregnant – prepares for a 2-hour walk to school. Every day, for the past year, Francis has been traveling 5 kilometers on foot to the only public primary school in the rural community of El Terrero, where she implements innovative after-school activities for students from first to third grade.

A narrow, stony path connects both communities – Angel 2 and El Terrero – in the municipality of Cusmapa, near the border with Honduras. Francis goes through several obstacles to reach El Terrero, including steep descents. The young teacher knows the way by heart, but it wasn’t always easy. “My first walks, a year ago, were very difficult for me… I wasn’t even pregnant, but I had to make several stops to rest. Back then, I did not know the way as I do now, but I was willing to take the risk. I slipped more than once, but I would get up every time. I’ve gotten stronger with time, and even enjoy the difficult journey now,” explains Francis.

 

It is a difficult road worth traveling

At 11:30 AM, Francis finally arrives at school. She takes a short rest and gets ready for her class at 1 PM. Francis was once a Fabretto student beneficiary herself. After completing her teaching and education studies at the regional university in Estelí (FAREM) with great effort, Francis was offered the opportunity to work as a Fabretto teacher.

Going to university would take Francis about 4 hours by public transportation. With support from her parents, she was able to achieve her dream of becoming a teacher. “My family would make great sacrifices to make ends meet. Covering the costs of transportation and university monthly fees was a daily concern, but my parents were determined to help me. I owe my parents everything I am today,” shares Francis with a smile.

Just a month after Francis started working as a Fabretto teacher in El Terrero, Nicaragua would face one of the deepest socio-economic crises in 30 years, forcing many to migrate in search of economic opportunities. For Francis, her commitment to her students’ education and future, inspires her to move forward and face adversity with resilience.

“No matter the circumstances, I always try to go the extra mile for my students. My experience as a Fabretto teacher has been a true gift. My 22 students are very dedicated students, hungry to learn… in their eyes, I can see myself as a child,” she says. One of her students, Ena, has shown great reading improvement over the past year. These results are what fill this young teacher with satisfaction. It is because of these little ones that she gets up every day and walks a long distance on a difficult road that is worth the effort.

At Fabretto, we recognize teachers like Francis, who provide quality education in the most underserved, hard-to-reach communities. By working with resilient teachers, we are able to keep the promise of a better future for children in Nicaragua. 

If you would like to support our education programs, please consider making a contribution in honor of resilient teachers like Francis.

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