Sara Learns About Health and Nutrition at School

Children and youthGender equalityNutritionSocial issues

Notes to broadcasters

It is important for boys and girls to stay in school. If children have a basic education they can help their parents on the farm by reading information about new farming practices, and instructions on seed packages and fertilizer bags. They can keep basic accounts for the farm business. This will allow farm families to increase profits and improve their lives.  When girls are educated they learn to prevent illness and take care of sick children.

Note : Scripts 1 and 2 of this package can be used together or separately. These two scripts tell parts of the same story in a different way. Sometimes presenting the same information in different ways will strengthen your message.



Program host


Voice of Sara’s father

Voice of Sara’s mother

Program host
: Are you a boy or girl who doesn’t like school? Or maybe you are a mother or father trying to decide whether or not to keep your child in school? Listen to this story about a girl who wants to continue her studies, but has to struggle to stay in school

: Hello. My name is Sara. The story I want to tell you starts when I was 13 years old. One day I arrived home from school and was just about to start my chores. My father told me he wanted to talk with me. This is what he said:

Voice of Father
: Sara, your mother and I have been talking about your future. In a few years it will be time for you to be married. There is no reason for you to stay in school now.

: I was devastated. My dream was to become a teacher. I wanted to have a good job. I imagined that with my teacher’s salary, I would have a nice home. I would have two children and I would be able to provide everything they need. But all these dreams faded with my father’s words.

MUSICAL BREAK (Slow, sad music).

: One day I was reading some booklets that the agricultural extension worker brought to our home. My father could not read, so he gave the booklets to me. I used the reading and math I had learned in school and saw that my father was not applying the recommended amount of fertilizer to his tea crop.

(cont): He agreed to try the amount that I suggested. When he did, he got a very good crop of tea and made much more money than usual. When the extension worker saw the excellent tea crop and heard the story, he suggested that my father allow me to stay in school. My father agreed. He said:

Voice of Father:
Sara, your mother and I have decided to let you stay in school. If you continue to work hard, learning math and writing and reading, you will be a big help to us on the farm.

: I was very happy. I could stay in school. Everything was going to be okay. Or was it?

MUSICAL BREAK (Creating a dark mood) (3 seconds).

: Life seemed good for a while. But then my family had a shock. My baby brother became very ill. He got diarrhea and lost a lot of fluid from his body. My parents thought he would die and they lost hope. But I had learned about this sickness at school and so I did not lose hope. I knew that my brother needed a special solution of water, salt and sugar. I measured the correct amounts of salt and sugar with spoons from the kitchen. Measuring was something else I learned at school!

And do you know what? My baby brother survived. My mother was so grateful. She said:

Voice of Mother
: Sara, we are blessed. You have helped to save your brother’s life. You have learned so many things at school. It was worth spending your school fees to save your brother’s life.

: And that was not the end of our good fortune. The extension worker brought us a loan application. I completed the application and my father received a loan to buy more fertilizer. Because I could read and write, I also helped my parents keep records for their farm business.

Last year I started my studies at teacher’s college. When I am finished college, I will be able to get a good job as a teacher. It looks as though I will live the life I dreamed about for so many years. And although it was a struggle to stay in school, I think it was worth it. And best of all, so do my parents!

MUSIC (5 seconds) AND FADE OUT.

– END –



  • Contributed by: Jennifer Pittet, Researcher/Writer, Toronto, Canada.
  • Reviewed by: Hélène Chiasson, PhD, Urgel Delisle et Associés Inc., Canada.

Information sources

  • “Women’s education key to reducing child malnutrition,” in Appropriate Technology, Volume 2, No. 2, April/June 2000. Research Information Limited, 222 Maylands Ave., Hemel Hempstead, Herts., HP2 7TD, UK.
  • State of the world’s children (Education), Carol Bellamy, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), 1999.
  • UNICEF Regional Offices:
    West and Central Africa: PO Box 443, Abidjan 04, Cote d’Ivoire
    Eastern and Southern Africa: PO Box 44145, Nairobi, Kenya
    Americas and the Caribbean: Apartado 89829, Santafe de Bogota, Colombia
    South Asia: PO Box 5815, Lekhnath Marg, Kathmandu, Nepal
  • Women working wonders: Small-scale Farming and the Role of Women in Vihiga District, Kenya, A Case Study of North Maragol  (Chapter X: Farm management situations and types of households), by Basilida Anyona Mutoro, 342 pp., 1997. Thesis Publishers, Prinseneiland 305, 1013 LP, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
  • Africa Recovery, Volume 14, No. 2, July 2000. United Nations Department of Public Information, Room S-931, United Nations, New York 10017, USA. E-mail:
  • Educating girls makes for better world, Toronto Star, May 5, 2000.
  • Country reports on situation and needs of Rural Youth,” Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).