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Faith: A song for the future

Posted on: Thursday, September 15th, 2022

Elfreda Whitty is a Programme Manager at CBM UK. She recently travelled to Zimbabwe to visit the Supporting Adolescent Girls’ Education (SAGE) Programme.

In May 2022, after a two and a half year hiatus due to COVID-19, I had the opportunity to visit our ‘Supporting Adolescent Girls in Education’ (SAGE) project in Zimbabwe. This life-changing programme is led by Plan International, with specialist support from CBM to ensure girls with disabilities are included in education. It is funded by UK aid through the Girls’ Education Challenge, the world’s largest global fund dedicated to girls’ education.

As part of my trip, we visited one of the Community Learning Hubs in a very rural village near the Mozambique border. There, I met a young mother called Faith, who has been blind since birth. When she heard that we were coming, she decided to compose a song to sing to us and her whole community, who had gathered under the shade of the big tree next to the Hub building.  Faith sang: 

“Other people used to look down at us before we attended SAGE…but we have learned a lot.

“We have been taught to sew, to read and write, and gender-based violence is less thanks to SAGE.”

I was amazed at how much confidence Faith had. As did so many other girls I met that day. This was due to the skills they had learned through SAGE, which had not only benefitted the girls, but their whole community too.

The SAGE project supports adolescent girls who have never been to school or dropped out of school due to poverty, child-marriage and disability. These and other barriers are mitigated through a community-based, non-formal education programme which ensures that the hardest to reach girls are not left behind when it comes to accessing basic education. It creates acceptance and inclusivity for girls living with disabilities – like Faith.