Sierra is the first graduate of our Education Programme. We supported her education from 2003 when she was in Grade 5. She is now a mum of two and is a schoolteacher. Since Sierra, we have had many other graduates who are now also living their dream. Enjoy reading Sierra’s story (in her own words) and be encouraged on how your donation and support is changing lives.
My life is like a ‘Butterfly cycle’ where from an ugly caterpillar, a beautiful butterfly has emerged, and I owe it all to God and to Hopelink who helped me realised my dream.
My life as I was growing up was a hand to mouth existence and a struggle most of the time. Although my parents instilled in us the value of education, they struggled so much to send all their six children to school. My father works as a carpenter and my mother as domestic helper, but their combined income was just enough to feed the family and nothing more.
It was then that the door was opened for me to be a recipient of the Back to School Programme (now Hopelink), who provided all my educational needs over many years. As I grow in my education, I also continue to grow in my spiritual life. In 2013, I graduated from college with a degree in Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education major in General Education. My parents were so proud and delighted, as I was the first person in our family who finished education.
I am now a fully qualified Public-School teacher working in our city. I have been able to buy my parents a house and continue to help them financially. I am determined that my own children would not experience the hardships I experienced growing up. I still could not believe how someone like me who lived in a squatter area could be a public-school teacher. But I give all the thanks to God and to Hopelink that my dream as a child to be a teacher is now a reality. A dream which is not only for myself but also for my whole family. I will be forever grateful to everyone at Hopelink who helps and supports people like me. For opening their hands to help us achieve our dreams and change our lives for the better.
(Sierra Joy S. Pacana Licensed Professional Teacher)