I started with PLF in October 2012 as a Media Teacher. It was such an exciting position to me because it was a new thing to me because I hadn’t had a lot of experience with technology. Even though I didn’t know much, I came to learn!
Working with PLF has been the best school for me. When I say that PLF was the good school for me, it’s both that they supported me to learn on the job but that they also supported my formal education. Because of their support, I now have my English certificate from PUC and am almost done with my Bachelor Degree and I hope in the future to study a Masters Degree in Social Work. I explored so much about technology in my job every day for two years and enjoyed it but I changed the position after two years because it was not my dream.
PLF was the place where I learned how to dream, too. Why do I say this? Before when people asked me what I wanted to be in the future, I only thought about the common jobs to answer them: like teacher, doctor, etc – the only types of jobs that I used to see in my home village.
One day Lori asked me that question. Where do you see yourself? In the school? In the office? I thought she was so crazy to ask me that since I already had a job with her. But maybe I just didn’t know myself or my education was too low to know how to dream for my future. But I did have things in my heart that I didn’t know how to talk about. So I just closed my eyes to try to let my heart speak. I told her I care about helping the girls like me and to provide them the support they need.
Lori taught me the word “social work” and explained to me what that meant. This was such a new concept to me! I had never heard about it before, but I could see how it fit with what had been in my heart. Lori helped me move toward what was in my heart by sending me to workshops and giving me information to read and videos to watch to help me begin gaining the skills to be a social worker. The world already knew about these things but I was so far behind. I grew up in an orphanage and there was no one there to talk about the girl problems. Who could I even talk to about questions about my period? I was away from my family and surrounded by only male staff. This is what made me passionate to work for girls so that they have someone in their life to talk to.
I have been so proud to work with PLF these past 7 years. Not only have I learned to dream but so have the PLF students. PLF supports the students from primary to secondary and all the way to university. The change over time that has been most meaningful to me is the growth of the university program. We can see the good result of all our programs in the increased number of students going to university.
I always explain PLF’s focus on university scholarships by comparing that when you grow something, you need to help it until that plant can stand on its own before you walk away. Plant one tree, make the fence around it, add the soil and water: those are our English, computer, workshop, and emotional support for the students. In my heart, I am so proud when I see a student walk out of university, smiling, a degree in hand, and move on to be an adult.
The other way I like about PLF is that I see everyone here works from their heart. We want to see the fruit from the trees that we’ve helped grow. Now we go more deeply in the programs – when we get a basket of fish and walk it to the field, the full basket from Point A arrives at Point B – there is nothing falling out of it along the way, we are not losing our resources because we look so carefully at every step to make sure there are no holes in the basket and supporting one another to make sure we know how to protect the basket and fish and keep them safe. We feel PLF is our family so the PLF resources are like belonging to our family and our PLF parents have been great role models for how to grow trees and keep our baskets safe.
Learn more about our University programs here