Bella, a scolarity guaranteed through the Agriculture project.
The US Embassy funding, the Agriculture Project was initiated in Mwaro Province in Rusaka Commune in an indigenous village commonly known as Batwa by the locals. These indigenous communities are notable for the low level of education in their communities and remain less developed than others. The main cause is hunger due to lack of land to practice agriclture. It is in this context that the agriculture project was set up to combat school dropouts due to hunger and to empower vulnerable families.
Today we are going to share with you the story of Bella, one of the young beneficiaries of the agriculture programme. Kanyange Bella, by her full name, is in her first year of high school in Mwaro province. She was treated violently by some students and teachers because of her Batwa (indigenous) ethnicity.
"When I had to take the high school entrance exam, I almost gave up several times because of the poisonous words of my school entourage discouraging me. But thanks to the teachings of ASSEJEBA which told us at each of their visits that we are not different from other people and gave us food in order have energy and thus study very well. So I took my courage with both hands and I passed the entrance exam" confides our 17 year old.
For ASSEJEBA, the agriculture project has several key objectives, which in turn create positive opportunities for different aspects of the lives of the indigenous people. "Our main goal is the empowerment of these communities and the he profitable exploitation of their agricultural land in order to fight against hunger and its consequences in all its forms. School dropouts are one of the most frequent and blatant consequences, but in Bella's case it is violence based on her Batwa origin. This is very common in the school environment by both staff and students. We regularly offer the necessary education and awareness-raising within these communities to make them understand that they are above all people and that these challenges are surmountable as long as they do not give up," says the Legal Representative of ASSEJEBA, Evariste Ndikumana.
In her spare time, Bella participates in pastoral activities in the potato fields, which is her way of thanking ASSEJEBA for its impact on her schooling and for giving other indigenous children the chance to go to school.