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History of a Sacrificed Childhood

We tell you the story of a girl who had to walk 3 km in order to access a basic right: education. Luckily, it has a happy ending...

Stories of people
Romina Oviedo

 Romina Oviedo is only 11 years old, but many kilometers traveled on foot.   This little girl was born  in  Lutti, a town located in the department Calamuchita, province of Córdoba, which is located in the south-west departmental, near the border with San Luis. It is a  village nestled in the middle of the mountains of Cordoba  and crossed by the  stream of Lutti.  From this point in the world, Romina was trying to access a  basic right: education. 

Searching for connection

 Romina and her family live in a country house, made of adobe,  15 kilometers from their rural school named after Leopoldo Lugones. With the changes that were experienced by  the global pandemic,  the girl, along with other students at the school, stopped attending the institution to start  taking classes online.  However, this situation tested his (and that of his family) to continue studying , as  access to education  would now be mediated by factors such as the  internet and technological devices. 

 From March 19, Romina walks 3 km uphill to access a little internet signal and get the task  that the Lord sends to the boys. Teacher Sandra Suárez is 48 years old  and teaches classes in various grades , from initial to sixth year. The quarantine had to be reorganized and engineered to  avoid losing contact.  Sandra  dictates the tasks from her home in La Cruz, 40 kilometers from Lutti, where Romina is located.  Virtual classes usually start at 9 in the morning and end around noon. 

Improvised education

From that hour, Romina is in  the stone desk that was improvised  to take classes  . With sun or rain  , the master student and her mother walked 3 km  to access a basic right such as education. The teacher learned about the situation in one of the many classes and asked them permission to  share the photo of the little girl on the net.  So  the story of this student went viral and reached every corner of the province. 

 The story of commitment and responsibility of the girl,  thrilled a group of independent Internet providers  who joined, determined to bring the service to her home. It took four days to move the necessary tools, on a  four-hour trip,  with two gravel routes. Despite all the obstacles, they  did not give up.  And  they were able to give the little girl access to a basic service to learn  in times of pandemic: the internet.With the connection at home, Romina studies agilly.  “ We are happy with the solidarity of the people, it changed our lives. Now Romi does the homework from the kitchen while I take care of the house,”  says Claudia, his mother.  A mother who did not have the opportunity to finish her primary education, and who values the right to education as anyone else.  A mother, regardless of sacrifice, walked every day so that her daughter could take classes with her master.

Sacrifice should not be an option

With the perseverance and courage of a family that attaches the necessary importance to education, Romi continued to have access to his classes. This history of sacrifice shows us that  we do not all have the same opportunities  and that sometimes  we need the solidarity actions of others  to be able to  move forward . In addition, it highlights  the connectivity gap that thousands of children live in the country  , a situation that is very serious since, in times of pandemic, education depends exclusively on  the accessibility  to the internet and technological devices that families have.

 No child should have to sacrifice himself in order to access a basic right.  It is not the task of every child, or every family, to access education. It is a task of the State to ensure that networks and institutions reach where their students are. 

That's why we applaud Romina and fight  so that no other child  has to go through the same situation.

Publication Date: 07/11/2020

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