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Schoolgirls from around the world share their dreams for the future

By Emily Gorton


We asked nine school-aged girls around the world what they wanted to be when they were older. This is what they said. 

Social worker Sharmila

Sharmila Kumal wants to become a social worker. She believes that after her studies she can turn her village, which has a tradition of early marriage, into a safer place for girls. 

Sharmila herself almost married early, but with the support of mentor Nanu, she convinced her family to let her continue studying.

She is part of the VSO-supported Sisters for Sisters programme in Nepal, pairing vulnerable girls with older mentors to support them to stay in education.

Doctor Antoinette

Alice Kayibanda

At just six, Irakoze Antoinette wants to be a doctor, and her mother Enathe has absolute faith in her.

"You can see: she is more adventurous. She is bright and intelligent, more than others," she says.

A local church organisation helped pay for the fees to send Antoinette to school in Cyete, Rwanda. VSO volunteers have just started a project here which provides the children with a hot meal at the school.

Cheang the police woman

Thomas Roos

Cheang Sreylin is 14 and attends a primary school in Pong Teuk in Cambodia. She wants to be a police officer or a teacher in the future.

She’s thankful her teacher takes good care of his class now, after working with volunteer Wim Lancsweert. 

Abiba wants to study medicine

Faye Goldman

Abiba Alhassan is from Bugiya in Northern Ghana. She wants to work in medicine, inspired by the doctors who treated her eye injury. 

Abiba used to struggle to read without pain because of her injury, but after receiving training from a VSO volunteer, her teacher has adapted his teaching style.

Her reading has now improved and she’s passed important exams, taking her into Junior High School.

“I am doing better. I take my learning seriously,” she says.

Nurse Jennifer

Jennifer Noabil from northern Ghana wants to help others when she’s older by becoming a nurse. 

Jennifer only began attending school at seven because of a disability. Her mother thought she’d never attend, but VSO volunteer Mary, working with a local partner put in place everything she needed to get to school.  

Footballer Laxmi

The community of Lamjung, Nepal, doesn’t traditionally support girls getting involved in sports.

But Laxmi Tamang, now 17, was determined not to let this stop her, and set up a girl’s football team in her community.

The team went on to competition level and to win many matches, and Laxmi has become a role model, the village now recognising the value the team brings to the community.

She now dreams of becoming a professional footballer, and continue to be a role model to encourage more women to get involved in sport.

Nurse Racheal

Ginny Lattul

Racheal Lokkang, 16, lives in the Moroto area of Karamoja,Uganda. She dreams of becoming a nurse, but has been forced to drop out of school because her family was unable to pay school fees. 

The community doesn’t place a high value on girls’ education – VSO volunteers are trying to change this. 

“I dream of becoming a nurse in the future. If I don’t go to school I will just stay at home with my mother,” she says.

“If we can go to school then we can get a job, and then we can help our family.”

Teacher Blessing

Blessing Asokiyine has Down’s Syndrome, and didn’t used to speak or attend school in Talensi District, Ghana where she lives. Volunteer Mary encouraged Blessing's family to bring her to school, and she now wants to be a teacher.

“I like going to school, because when I’m in school I’m happy,” she says.

Pilot Rabia

Grade 4 student Rabia Fedlu wants to be a pilot when she grows up. She attends Urael school in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Help make dreams a reality

Every child deserves a quality education, but millions still miss out. We're working to change this. Improving education quality and opening up the classroom to some of the world's most vulnerable children. Last year, our education programmes reached 922,000 people. 

Take a look at our latest roles in education to find out if you, or someone you know, could use their teaching skills to further the dreams of children around the world.

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