14-year-old Emilie is in the sixth grade of elementary school. She lives in an area notorious for poverty industry* and petty crimes. We started to help Emilia two years ago. She had almost exclusively F grades at school at the time and her parents had to deal with various behavior problems and troubles. When we first met Ema, she was contradicting us all the time and she had difficulties to respect authority. by the age of 12 she had already gone through a community service due to one of her incidents.
Ema has six siblings, she takes care of all her younger sisters and brothers. Her parents are kind and interested in educating their children. Her mother however has finished only 7 grades of elementary school and she has to look after an infant herself. And her father goes to work every day. Both of her parents really want Ema to have good grades. But they don’t have the capacity and time to pay attention to her individually. At the where Ema lives we have been tutoring children for several years now. One day Ema decided to attend the lecture – out of curiosity. She liked it so much, that she has never left us. Neither parents, nor us made her to do that. We believe that is the reason she is still so motivated and she attends tutoring regularly without any absence.
Someone who would be there for her
Cooperation with Emilia goes so well that for the last years she has been passing with honors at school! From a slacker, who almost had to repeat a grade, she has become an active student, who likes school and prepares dutifully and with interest. She communicates with the tutor even out of classes – she asks him to explain things which she doesn’t understand. The only thing Ema needed to make herself like school was someone who would be there for her.
Although Ema’s family owns a phone, they don’t have any computer. Distant education was therefore difficult during the quarantine. To support Ema in doing homework, we decided to lend a computer to the family. Ema is really diligent, all members of our team agreed that she deserves it. Together with her siblings she is doing various exercises. The family is not in any financial troubles, so there is no risk that they will sell or pawn the computer. Emilka doesn’t have any substantial difficulty in using the computer thanks to basics she have learned at school.
Currently, Ema is meeting her tutor outside twice a week. They are doing the homework together. Ema inspires other children from the area and she enjoys to be a positive example for them. She helps us with the organization of free time activities for children at the panel housing estate and she takes care of the smaller children. We are glad to have her on our “team”.
*Money-making activities that attract a large portion of their business from the poor because of their poverty (e. g. payday loan centers, pawnshops, rent-to-own centers, casinos, lotteries)