Like many children from her community, when she was young, both of Saniela’s parents worked to provide for the family while she remained in the care of her grandmother. One day when Saniela was nine and both her older brothers were working with her parents at the store quite far away, she and her sister were getting a lift on a motorcycle with a cousin. They were in an accident with an SUV that ended up running over Saniela twice, once forward and then in reverse as the driver manoeuvered to get away. As a result, one of Saniela’s legs had to be amputated above the knee and she was in the hospital for 6 months.

Now Saniela is a beautiful 14-year-old Grade 8 student who enjoys Spanish class the most out of all the subjects. This is her first year at La Esperanza. Her previous school didn’t offer Grade 8 – in fact, principal Mery notes that Esperanza is the only private Christian school in the area that is approved by the Ministry of Education to administer the national Grade 8 exams. It’s easy to miss Saniela in the large, boisterous group of her classmates. Although well-liked with many close friends in her class, she is quiet and keeps out of the way, perhaps not wanting to draw attention to her use of crutches to walk. However, her principal confirms that she is a good student who works hard. Talking with Saniela, her beautiful spirit and quiet determination to do her best shine through.

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