I recently travelled to the village and I was able to visit my grandmother Angelina. When we arrived with my sister Angela and my brother in-law Sos Peter, she was sitting by the door and was excited to see her grandchildren coming to visit. As we settled in and began catching up, we ended up having a lengthy discussion around education. At 82 years old, my grandmother spoke so passionately about the importance of education. When I looked into her eyes and listened to her speak keenly about all the benefits of education, I was reflecting on my own beliefs about education. I thought I knew all the benefits of education, but it was special to listen to a new perspective.
She explained to us how education can change lives and why parents should prioritize education for their children. When my grandmother Angelina was growing up, education was not accessible to all, so she did not get the chance to advance her education to her desired level. But this did not stop her from educating all her children and continuing to advocate for education for all her grandchildren and great grandchildren.
I particularly loved my grandmother’s expectations for education. It was not about grades and passing examinations, but about opportunity, gaining knowledge, adding value and becoming a productive individual who can pursue their dreams and succeed in life.
She also spoke about the sustained efforts required to pursue this goal of education. That parents, teachers and the community at large needed to be intentional in pursuing education for all. As I was listening to grandma Angelina, I was truly inspired by her desire to see a transformed community and her ability to fearlessly champion for equal opportunities for boys and girls to be educated. My grandmother had so much hope in her eyes when she spoke; hope that we could become better versions of ourselves if we received quality education. That we could have wider perspectives in life and be critical thinkers.
Looking back on the World Development Report, one of the key topics highlighted was “The Promise of Education” and making schools work for all learners. When our Co-Founder Tiffany interacted with people in the community, she asked one question… “If there was one thing you could change in the community, what would it be?” The responses largely touched on education. Many families around the world genuinely believe in the power of education.
My grandmother Angelina’s parting shot to us was; to make sure we educate the next generation and let them advance their studies by taking courses they are passionate about. There are still several challenges we need to overcome before all children can access the education they deserve and thrive in life. But there are also several things we can do today to support education for the next generation. This discussion with my grandmother revolves around Dignitas’ vision and why it is important for us to continue pursuing our goals until we achieve a world where all children can develop the skills and strength of character to thrive and succeed. We are celebrating a #DecadeofDignitas this year but we know that more work lies ahead. We are eager to drive the work forward and implement our 2022 goals!
Every man who knows how to read has it in his power to magnify himself, to multiply the ways in which he exists, to make his life full, significant and interesting.Aldous Huxley
Contributor: Gloria Omuya – Senior Communication & Operations Officer