Emmanuel Nuvalga knew from an early age not to take education for granted. Throughout his school years he faced challenges – from starting primary school later than his peers to difficulty accessing books and materials. He soon realized that he was not the only member of his community with these challenges and began considering ways to solve them.
He was moved to start his organization, Support for Girl Child’s Education Initiative (SUP Girl Child), after the death of his neighbor, a young teenage girl who had wanted to go to school but did not have the support or resources do so. Her limited options led her to an early marriage and she soon became pregnant, tragically losing her life in child birth. “Her death moved me to start my project in order to support girls and those who faces challenges accessing education,” said Emmanuel.
SUP Girl Child distributes literacy materials to the hardest to reach school children. They also support these students with their school fees, access to the building blocks of education like reading and writing, and skills such as making sanitary pads. This last step is crucial for girls who might miss out on school because of their periods unless given access to these skills. “My greatest hope,” Emmanuel explained, “is that this work will bring these less privileged girls together, advance their education, and help them realize their dreams and live the best version of their lives.”
In 2021, Emmanuel received a seed grant for his work, which he saw as an open door for SUP Girl Child – the first of many. “When I received a seed fund from TPP, I noticed I am not alone in this movement, I gained a mental strength that gives me confidence that I will soon have open doors from other organizations.” Indeed, doors are opening for Emmanuel all over the globe. YAMATO, a Japanese-based organization is now supporting SUP Girl Child’s new education center where they plan to bring more street children together to support them in realizing their dreams.
Emmanuel is especially proud of helping three children return to school after living on the street and supporting almost 2,000 children with literacy materials, which encourages school sustainability. Reflecting on the project’s success so far, he appreciates how much the work has impacted and empowered him. “My work enables me to change the way I think and look at things, Before, when I saw a problem, I’d point finger at the government and blame people, but experience from my work changed my perspective. It’s made me a problem solver.”