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Joyce Simon
Joyce Simon

Tanzanian schoolgirl campaigns against early marriage

A 13-year-old girl with albinism is leading a campaign to make sure girls in Tanzania complete their schooling.

Joyce Simon says her parents wanted her to deliberately fail her exams so that she wouldn’t continue her education. They feared for her safety in school because she has albinism.

But people in her area Chamwino district of Dodoma say other parents encourage their daughters to fail exams so that they get married and the parents receive a dowry.

Ms Simon refused to heed her parents’ advice and became the only girl in her class to pass the exam and now she uses her spare time to help other girls.

“When I was in class seven, several people came to me and told me to fail my national examination. But I didn’t listen to any of it. I continued praying and when the results were out, I was among the top students,” Ms Simon said.

She was selected to join a top school but her parents could not afford to pay her school fees.

An association of Tanzanian students who studied in Australia came to her rescue and sponsored her to attend school in Singida region.

She is now leading other activists in a campaign to ensure girls in Tanzania complete their schooling.

Source: BBC

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