I brought light to my whole village

Smart girls have power!

I brought light to my whole village

Some people think there are jobs a woman can’t do! Some countries even have laws to control this. This is one girl’s story.

My name is Eugenie, I am 18 and I live in Rwanda. The start of my story is sad - my dad and siblings died leaving my mom and me alone. My mom is amazing. Despite hard times, she showed me how to rely on myself and to work hard. She is my hero. Then I got a chance to give something back to her!

When I was in primary school, we didn’t have electricity at home. It made chores and homework really hard. I struggled doing homework in the dim light of a candle. I started dreaming about how great it would be to bring light to my home. For the next year it was all I thought about. I dreamt of being an electrician. I wanted to show that I could study hard and do well – even better than the boys at school! I could be the one bringing light to our village.

Eventually I spoke to an electrician in the city. He taught me how to connect wires to a battery and produce electricity. After a bit of coaching, I got it right! When our neighbours saw what I had done they also wanted electricity in their homes. I was able to get them electricity and I would charge them a small amount to light up their homes too. The money I earned being the community’s electrician went towards my school fees.

Today I’m in my fifth year studying electrical engineering. My advice to girls is to learn as much as you can when you are in school. There is no such thing as jobs that are just for men. It’s important for girls to study technical subjects too! Women make great scientists, engineers and researchers. So if that is something that interests you, then study hard and don’t give up. Together we can make the world a better place!

Why study hard? Read this article to find out:

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