Paola’s high school graduation exams are about to begin in a few weeks. She is in year 12 at Nehemia high school in Buçimas, but that is anything but a given! 

Talking to the friendly young woman, you would never guess how difficult her life is. The family of five lives in a tiny apartment - one kitchen, one bedroom. A serious illness has left the father permanently bedridden and the mother has to look after him. The parents have no chance of earning a living, they cannot make ends meet without help - a typical case for NG’s Amaro Tan program. They receive regular support and Paola’s two sisters can also go to school with NG. 

Some time ago they had to face yet another crisis, their home was destroyed by a fire. The whole NG staff stepped in and gifted the proceeds from their charity volleyball tournament to replace destroyed appliances and furniture. 

Paola still thinks back a little wistfully to her first school years at Amaro Tan School. “I felt very good there. From primary to middle school, we were always together, like a little family. I really enjoyed lessons. The teachers were extremely helpful and always there for us.”

Moving on to Nehemiah High School meant a whole new surrounding, new friends, and different academic demands. Paola successfully tackled these challenges. The teachers commend her for being very reliable, always on time for class and school-related events. Paola says: “I usually go straight home after school and study for 2-3 hours.” (It must be difficult to find the quiet needed to study in their overcrowded apartment.) Having a perspective and the chance to realize her dreams gives her the needed energy. She loves economics and dreams of studying law one day

We are excited to see where her path will take her.

Elona Rira, principal of Nehemia School, is a big fan of the scholarship program, which offers tailored help for needy children and their families. 

She explains: 

„It is our mission and our heartfelt desire to help especially those students who come from families to whom society closes its doors and treats them as less valuable. 

Watching these students struggle to become someone, to change their reality and that of their families, and to be a companion in this process of becoming who they are, is a challenge, an encouragement and a joy for all of us as teachers. 

We hope and wish that during her years at our school we have also transmitted our values to Paola, and that the academic preparation will open new doors for her future. The goal is for Paola to not only be able to help herself, but also to be a light for her family and the community she will live in”.