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Afi Agbo

Afi means that she was born on a Friday, Tsevieto means that she was born in Tsevie.

Afi, 12 years old, will be going into 5eme at the Lycee de Kpedome in Notse. Just last year she moved away from her parents in the rural village Avassikpe to go to Notse to start junior high school. Afi's father has six wives and Afi is the only one out of all thirty three children who has ever gone to school. Her parents never even considered sending their children to school until Afi befriended a newcomer in the village: a female primary school teacher. Afi started playing with the teacher's young son and the teacher asked her why she wasn't in school. The teacher went to Afi's home and spoke to her parents and encouraged them to send Afi to school.  

"I told them that these days the world is changing; leaving a child at home is like killing them." Her parents accepted and admitted that it was only ignorance that led them to keep their children from school. Seeing Afi's success, her parents are now considering sending her younger siblings to primary school.

Afi's father considered sending his children to school but couldn't afford to send all of them and didn't want to create jealousy among his wives by choosing only a few to send. So he just decided to keep them all at home.

 

Afi started school in 2004 and has advanced every year - which is not easy especially since she had never spoken any French before starting school. At her junior high school, there aren't enough teachers so some community members who have studied the subject, but aren't accredited, are employed to teach subjects. It is the association of parents and teachers that have to pay their salaries - which means that school fees are higher. Afi pays 7000 per year for her school fees.

 

In the past she has been helped by the local female teacher, a local Peace Corps volunteer, and her own efforts working in neighbor's fields to pay her fees. She hopes that this year the scholarship will mean that she can use her field work to help pay for notebooks, pens and schoolbooks, things that she has difficulty buying now.

 

Living away from her parents is hard, but she has found a cousin to live with in Notse so she has some family support and her parents bring out bags of corn and other things so that she can prepare her own meals. Mostly she studies on her own, but whenever she has some extra money, she attends revision courses on Wednesday afternoons and Saturdays presented by professors.

 

Afi's favorite subject is Biological and Earth Sciences. She wants to become a doctor one day