According to UNICEF, 63 million young adolescents around the world were not enrolled in primary or secondary school in 2012. For many countries, like Mexico, this is largely due to children living in poverty and a lack of resources and support from parents to pursue an education. Often, girls are most vulnerable to being denied the opportunity for an education.
“[Many parents] accept the custom of telling the girls that they will not go to school or receive an education because they will only marry and have their own children,” says Julia Miranda, a staff member from a child development centre in Mexico.
In a community where not many young girls receive the support and encouragement they need to flourish at school, one girl’s parents are telling her not to marry too young.
Fourteen-year-old Lizbeth’s parents hope for a different future for their daughter. They know that if she commits to school and church and program activities, she will be able to take advantage of the opportunities an education will provide.
Her father earns US$4-5 a day as a taxi driver, so Lizbeth is the only child in her family they can afford to send to school. Even though they saved for the school expenses, Lizbeth’s parents needed to take out a loan for her school uniform and registration fees.
But Lizbeth’s parents are no longer alone in supporting their daughter’s education.
Being sponsored with Compassion has given her access to school supplies and brand new school shoes to start her last year of junior high. Lizbeth works hard at studying and maintaining high grades. She dreams of becoming a teacher or nurse when she grows up so she can help children learn and understand the importance of health.
“Some teenagers have the opportunity to study but are not committed to take it, and others do not get the opportunity because there are not enough resources at home to study,” says Lizbeth.
“That is why I am determined to do well.”
By Cesiah Magaña and Amy Millar