Dear Girls of Guinea,
Congratulations, you are halfway through the school year!
Thinking back to when I was a girl around your age, I remember the excitement that the half-year mark brought: I was now one of the older “cool” kids at school and that much closer to the next grade. But I know there are some challenges too.
By now, you might have noticed that your responsibilities are increasing. Not only on the playground per se—like being team captain and looking after younger students—but they are also increasing at home as you care for siblings, help with laundry, and cook for your family.
Though it will be challenging at first to find a balance between school work and household chores, you should know that you’re not alone.
Many girls face similar circumstances. I too had to learn how to balance school and home responsibilities; especially as I grew older, I began to sense cultural pressures steering me away from school duties in order to tend to household chores. I found education to be the strongest shield against these pressures, and I hope that you find similar comfort in your studies.
I encourage you to reach out to teachers for mentorship and support. By actively participating in class and completing homework assignments, teachers will notice your potential and invest in helping you find a balance between school and home. Teachers will be great allies throughout your educational journey, and they will help advocate for you to remain in school.
And, in time, I know you will do the same. I have no doubt that as you grow older and continue to participate in school, all of you will become advocates for younger girls in your communities. You can share with them how you faced similar challenges to stay in school and succeed.