The ability to enjoy a happy, carefree childhood is something that the majority of us in the 'lucky countries' experience as a matter of course. Yet so often a disproportionate number of young children in the developing world are deprived of that opportunity.
A year 7 student I met is an example. The loss of her mother several years ago left her poorly educated, low-skilled father struggling to support her and her now 5 year old brother, who suffers with behavioral problems and some hearing loss.
She is desperately trying to balance her desire to get a good education with her increasingly difficult role as the 'woman of the house', while her dad displays signs of buckling under the strain. The prospect of both children being institutionalized is a possibility on and off according to how he is coping.
The CEF team are doing all they can to support her and keep her dreams alive. We hope that while caring for the family she can still achieve her own personal goals and hopefully find a little time to enjoy her youth.