Angela and Innes enjoy sitting and talking with each other outside the makeshift home that Angela stays in with her mother.
The Fragile Seven Series
Seven examples of countries in crisis. Seven girls, coming of age amidst unthinkable circumstances. They share a common courage, in the face of danger and deprivation. And they share something else: an urgent need for education. For all vulnerable children – especially, girls – education offers a lifeline to safety for today and hope for the future tomorrow.
Part 6. Angela, Central African Republic
Angela has so much in common with her best friend, Innes.
The girls have grown up together, in the same village in Central African Republic. They’ve loved making up impressive dance routines and attending school.
Yet this is no ordinary friendship.
Angela and Innes have many friends at the camp but the two of them share a unique bond that has persevered and grown out of the hardest of circumstances..
When rebels attacked and burned their village, the girls’ relationship moved to a much deeper level. They now know a bond born of trauma.
Angela, 15, and Innes, 11, escaped with their mothers during the night, taking nothing but the clothes on their bodies.
All the people in their village ran away. All the homes were left in ashes. No one’s sure what happened to the school.
Angela lost count of how many days she walked, before reaching a camp for internally displaced people. Between squatting in vacant dwellings and waiting for UN food distributions to arrive, those early months at the camp were a confused blur. But eventually, both she and Innes got used to their new lives there.
What’s been harder to accept is the endless days without routine or purpose.
For now, every day is about waiting.
Angela and Innes wait for something to change. They wait for the fighting to end. If only someone would start a school in the camp, life here might not feel like such a waste! But nothing has happened yet. And the girls have no illusions about what’s at stake.
The two girls spend their days helping their mothers on the farm and at the market because they don’t have access to schooling at the camp for internally displaced people in Central African Republic.
“I see that there is no good thing in my future, because I’m missing education,” says Angela, helplessly. “There’s nothing for me to do. My future is not good.”
What if they had the choice between getting their homes back, and going to school?
Angela says she would pick school, hands down. Innes states that education is the only ticket to a future free of poverty and conflict.
These two young girls have the clarity and wisdom to see what’s needed, if countries like Central African Republic are to move forward. It’s education. And without it, the world could face a lost generation of girls.
Does Angela’s story speak to you? Then speak up! The G7 Summit is upon us. Let the government of Canada know that you want them to invest in education for girls in crises by signing our petition so that all girls have the chance to shape their own futures.