By Barclay Martin, new channels coordinator for Unbound
Sitting in the home of Yollande and her mother, Jeanne, I was given a beautiful glimpse of human potential. In a place where homes are commonly assembled with humble and often salvaged materials, their home is simple, but stately. When I commented on how lovely it felt to be in their home, Jeanne replied, “We have built our life one step at a time, including this house.”
Yollande is 21 and has been raised alongside her siblings in their neighborhood on the outskirts of Antsirabe, Madagascar. Their neighborhood’s name translates to “No Place for Lazy People.”
Welcome to Tsiratrinikamo.
The land in this area is expansive, with tough, tillable soil for those who are willing to work it. Because of this terrain, Yollande’s neighborhood has earned a reputation as one that does not cater to the idle.
Her mother, Jeanne, shared her philosophy about education.
“When [my husband and I] got married, we set a goal to educate our children, and encourage them all to finish high school. We didn’t get education ourselves, but we want this for our children.
“It’s difficult,” Jeanne continued. “Even if we have less food or don’t eat at all, we save that money for education. If there are school supplies to buy, the food will wait.”
Yollande dreamed about becoming a nurse since she was a little girl. Once she joined Unbound at the age of 11, her family was able to better meet their needs at home and secure Yollande’s access to school. Despite the positive changes that sponsorship brought, the cost for additional training for specialized careers like nursing remained out of reach, as it does for most in Madagascar.
To reach dreams of this scale, it would take something extra.
At a critical point in her education, Yollande applied for and was awarded a scholarship through Unbound. Support for Education through Unbound helps young people complete their studies.
I asked her what this scholarship has meant to her future and its possibilities. She said, “If I hadn’t received this scholarship, I would have saved to finance a short-term training like basic foreign language or cooking.
“My dream has always been to become a nurse. The scholarship is helping me achieve this dream. Without it, I would have to choose a different job.”
Through this gift of education, Yollande has nurtured her dream into a career that brings healing and wellness to her community. It is a celebration of human potential. Yollande’s Unbound scholarship helped her get here, and we are all better for it.
Click here to donate to Education through Unbound and support students like Yollande.