In the village of Owa Ofie, Nigeria, Cynthia Isioma, a young girl who has survived enormous odds reclaimed her dream of secondary education.
Cynthia lost both parents at the age of two and was left in the care of her grandmother who died three years later. Cynthia’s situation grew more challenging when she was then moved to her blind grandfather’s home at the age of five.
Rather than receive care, Cynthia had to take on the responsibility of caring for her grandfather who could not afford to send her to school. Cynthia became a child caregiver, providing for herself and her grandpa. Her daily duties included going to the forest to collect cocoyam, palm nuts, snails, and waterleaves to sell and for household use.
Cynthia’s situation changed when she was 13 years old and Rural Linkage Network (RULIN), a community-based organization based in Boji Boji, visited Owa Ofie to identify orphans in need of support. RULIN is supported by the USAID-funded, MSH-led Community Support for OVC Project (CUBS).
With CUBS support, RULIN enrolled Cynthia in school and helped her reintegrate into the school system. CUBS provided her with a Basic Care Kit that included a school bag, shoes, and other basic school supplies, as well as an education grant.
At 14 years old, Cynthia no longer has to go to the bush or sell goods on the street to support herself and her grandfather. She now has a sense of belonging. Her grandfather told CUBS, “How I wish I could see those who are showing love and support to my granddaughter, as I am hearing their voices and comments of their good works.”
This blog post was written by the CUBS Nigeria team. Gilbert Ojiakor originated the story.