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She’s about 20 years old, she studied Cosmetology, and she hid her pregnancy for 8 months until she felt able to share it during a listening session at HOLD. She was afraid that her foster family would throw her out.  The HOLD Counselors began a process of mediation with the family to see how to protect both the girl and her baby, who was coming in a matter of weeks.  The counselors also referred her to a health clinic for Prenatal Counseling. 

After the Educators spoke on Sexual Reproductive Health, one woman who was suffering from secondary sterility and didn’t know what her fate would be, spoke up. Then the peer educators oriented her to a gynecologist.  Here’s her testimony:

 "It had been ten years and I’ve not been able to carry a pregnancy—without knowing what caused the situation.  When I heard a brother and two sisters (the Peer Educator team) talking about reproductive health in the place where I sell fuel, they were talking about Family Planning.  Right after they’d finished I went up to talk with them and told them about my situation; they said it wasn’t normal and I should see a Gynecologist.  Personally, I didn’t even know what a Gynecologist was.   They talked with me and gave me directions to the hospital and the Gynecologist I should see.  I followed their advice and I met the doctor, who prescribed some medicine for me, and now I feel that everything is getting back to normal.”


The World Literacy Day was celebrated on Wednesday at HOLD DRC, through a day of reflection by graduates of the Fifth Cohort on the theme of “Literacy and Sustainable Societies”.   Everyone was made aware of the importance of knowing how to read and write as they learn their trade.  Here’s the testimony of one girl from the Fifth cohort who told how she’d decided to start primary school:


"I’m 17 years old.  Both of my parents died when I was very young.  My mother died first,  and my dad afterward.

I was the only child of my two parents.  After my mom died, my father married another woman and I didn’t have the chance to go to school like my half brothers and sisters.  After my father died, my stepmother decided to leave us with her parents so she could start her life over.  And that’s where we live today.

I was trained in Culinary Arts at the HOLD DRC Center in the 5th Cohort.  As I didn’t know how to read or write, I enrolled in the literacy program at the same Center.  It was hard at first, as my friends made fun of me.  I was convinced that all those who made fun of me and even my stepmother would respect me, as I’ve learned that education is a right for everyone without exception for gender.

Today I know how to read and to write.  My counselors and the HOLD staff have given me the thirst to pursue my studies, and I’m now able to pay for my own primary education (there’s a system for adults to catch up) with the money I make, thanks to the cooking and baking I know how to do."

Girls trained in Cosmetology were tested in their skills of making a « Twist » 65 % of the girls were successful.

The children in the Children’s Space learned how to study the area where you live, to be able to know your family’s address, so that each child can tell exactly where they live.

In the Cosmetology training we noticed that among 50 girls enrolled in the Sixth Cohort, 10 girls have gone back to school after the training on the right to education that they and parents and community received, and with encouragement from members of HOLD staff, and the support of their parents !  


Community Development

The girls have learned about the importance of saving in their Association for Human Development, and we’ve noticed an increase in those who’re saving. Note that the association has initiated a new system of providing loans to those who belong to the association and are saving.   All of this is to promote the habit of saving for long-lasting development among the members of the ADH. 



On Wednesday September 11, the girls of the 6th Cohort cleaned the environment around the HOLD Center, and they also prepared the soil for the planting season that begins soon, in mid-September.

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