In honor of International Women’s Day, we celebrate Dada Grace and her determination, her ‘sparkle’ and energy, which inspires all of us to think of others and how we can be helpful.
Grace’s smile lights up a room: she is wise beyond her years, warm, and nurturing in so many ways. As our Supervisor at our Girls Center, she works closely with our Director Estahappy and recently, they’ve welcomed children and women in our neighborhood and are teaching them new skills.
Our girls respect Grace as a mentor and confide in her as an older sister -a ‘Dada’- and friend. By establishing a strong girl-adult partnership with each girl, Grace is helping to build their self esteem. While our girls are learning to speak and read English fluently, Grace is also studying and improving her English skills.
Grace grew up in similar circumstances of our students. Both her parents are farmers who grow maize, beans, cabbages and tomatoes. They also own 12 chickens, 3 goats and a cow. Grace understands the challenges her family faced when sending Grace and her two sisters to school. Grace wants to be a pre-school teacher and own her own day care center.
A year ago, Grace saved her salary in order to attend a Montessori Teacher’s College. Grace is now fulfilling the practical field work for her degree and teaching at a preschool, next to our Girls Center, where there are fifty 4 and 5 year-old students.
Grace initiated a Children’s Study Group at our Girls Center. Twenty-five students from 1st- 5th grade study with her after school every day. She is helping them reach and read at their grade level so they will shift from ‘learning to read to reading to learn’.
In September TGFT initiated a Women’s Savings & Loans group of which Grace is a member. As Treasurer, she has taught the women how to keep accurate records of their savings. The first four loans given to members were to pay for their children’s school fees. 7 of the women are sending their children to our Children’s Study Group.
So many of the skills we are teaching our students, Grace demonstrates by her example with her strong work ethic and cheerfulness. Grace brings dignity to her work and showers all of us with her great sense of humor and enthusiasm!