Participating in ChildFund's Building Blocks programme in Kiribati has been an absolute life changer for 17-year-old Tooti.
Tooti had to overcome many challenges to learn to read and write as a teenager, and now she is stepping up again to encourage others in her community of Betio to take the course that teaches basic literacy.
"I kept saying to myself that I can do it and so I kept on practicing until I got it," Tooti says.
“I am so grateful for this ChildFund program as it is gave me the chance to learn again."
Tooti left school while still primary aged, and says she initially felt embarrassed about not being able to read or write. Local perceptions toward older learners were a challenge too, including teasing from her peers when she started the course.
But with support from ChildFund staff she kept going back each day, learning and building up confidence until she graduated last year. Tooti hopes that local perceptions toward older learners change as more community members participate in the course.
"The ChildFund Building Blocks program has helped me a lot and I feel so grateful to have been educated through it."
Tooti is now encouraging other community members, friends and family who are illiterate to register their name with ChildFund Kiribati for the Building Blocks program so they too can gain confidence and learn to read and write.
Funds from Kiwi supporters and the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade make ChildFund's Building Blocks programme in Kiribati possible.
You too can help more young people like Tooti by becoming a ChildFund supporter today.
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