In 2015, Korei Hemchi Dogori was a Chadian studentat the Faya middle school CEG Martyrs. Faya, once a lucrative crossroads of desert commerce from Niger, Libya and Egypt, is now an isolated desert oasis town. As a result, youth have limited opportunities for advancement. This constrains community resiliency and creates new vulnerabilities including conflicts over limited resources. Due to this, Korei’s school was selected by PDev II for the Local Heroes project.
A major component of this activity involved “local heroes” (people who had completed their schooling and gone on to have successful careers) and teachers from the community talking with students, encouraging them, despite challenges, to complete their studies and to contribute to their community development. The local heroes also awarded the top students an assortment of much-needed school supplies, including a school backpack, notebooks and geometry kits.
In February 2015, Korei and 250 other students participated in the event, and Korei, one of the top students, received a certificate of achievement and school supplies. After receiving his award Korei stated, “I follow, with great interest, what our elders in the community have accomplished. They are a model of success and can tell us about the importance of education in these difficult times.” He went on to say, “These local heroes talked about their own interest in school. They explained their professional careers were built on a foundation of education. It allowed them to have choices, and that no one can take their education from them, no matter what. I was so encouraged. I saw that even if you are from a poor family, you can do well and succeed in life due to effort and determination. They made us understand that our school is not a place for conflict and violence, but a place for education and tolerance.” Korie said that he is now inspired to become a local hero for his peers.
CEG Martyrs was one of four schools selected to participate in PDev II’s Local Heroes project.