Please, do not judge her…

Pain is not the appropriate word for what she feels today. Disorder is close to what she is living every day. Nightmare has replaced her dreams and despair is what can describe her image of future life.

Anita was that intelligent and beautiful girl. Born in a low class family, the chances of being educated in a world where women and girls do not occupy the front seat were not that high. Full of dreams, she began primary school at a public school in her village. Anita tried to be a good student and a responsible daughter at home to raise her odds of staying longer at school. Her dream: to be a teacher at the primary school where she will get a chance to sensitize young girls to go to school like boys do. 

When Anita was twelve, she was in 6th grade, in primary school. Despite the various domestic works that she had to do before and after classes, Anita was always among the top three pupils in her class.  Many teachers loved her and almost all her school materials were gifts from teachers. Her parents were very happy and proud of her.

 Her father had just sent her at school to learn how to read and write.  And most of all, Anita was still a kid and not useful enough for domestic housework. But Anitta’s father gradually developed a feeling of pride towards her young daughter as a pupil.

To Anita’s mother, Anita was that pitiful creature who will suffer from a male dominated society. She knew Anita was intelligent, courageous and a very responsible kid but the problem was that she was a girl. To her, Anita was the victim of the society and there was nothing she could do to help her. Year after year, she counted down years to see Anita’s failure approaching. Sometimes, when Anita excitingly showed her record card to her uneducated mum, trying to explain to her how successful she had been, Mum would feel bitter …inside her. She regretted the fact that Anita was a girl…

Anita ended her primary studies with an outstanding score. During holidays, she worked hard to get school materials, school fees and uniforms. She didn’t want to bother her parents by asking for school materials.

Her fate was following her… 

On the eve of the start of the school year, Anita’s father, a farmer and small trader in the village tragically died in a car accident. Anita, who is the second of the family and the elder girl, was obliged to drop out of school. She was the one to help her mother to raise the 5 siblings. Courageous as she was, she wanted all of them to stay at school. So she followed every advice she was given on how she could get money for her siblings’ education. When she was 14, a neighbour and former friend of his father suggested her mother to find her a job as a house maid in Bujumbura town. This will help her mother with the education of her children. Anita was a housemaid till she met a friend that took care of her, and introduced to her world. 

To be continued…

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