Awa’s story: from being a Distance Support beneficiary to the desire of becoming a nurse to help others

The story of Awa, an Ivorian teenager who, thanks to AVSI’s Distance Support, received support for her and her family and managed to continue her studies until she obtained her diploma

Countries Ivory Coast
Date 22.11.2023

Awa Koné became part of the Distance Support program at the young age of 4, while living through difficult situations alongside her parents. Today, thanks to the invaluable support provided by an Italian family through AVSI, Awa graduated high school and is sharing her story.

Before becoming part of the Distance Support program, my family was facing some challenges. Thanks to this program, I was able to attend school and study.


Awa’s story as recipient of the Distance Support program began in 2005, in Yopougon Port-Bouët II, a working-class neighbourhood of Abidjan, Ivory Coast, where Awa lives to this day.

Awa was 4 years old and her family was facing some struggles: her father had lost his job, her mother was working but she was pregnant so she would have had to stop soon to take care of the newborn. Facing all these challenges, Awa’s father attempted to start a small revenue-generating business, but it was not enough to support the family. In those circumstances Awa would have had to start working to help her parents, risking not being able to attend school.

Awa, with diploma in hand thanks to her efforts and AVSI's Distance Support

The Distance Support program has changed everything, giving Awa the chance to live her childhood to the fullest. She was able to attend school and receive psycho-social support from AVSI’s team, particularly from the social worker who visited her daily and listened to her family’s needs. This guidance was a significant contribution to Awa’s personal development.

"I really liked the trips that were organised. My parents couldn’t afford to take us on holidays, but thanks to the Distance Support program I was able to visit some wonderful places, that I still remember.”

Awa’s school life has not always been easy: she had to face some study and family issues, which posed a significant challenge for her. Despite all these difficulties, with the social worker’s help, she managed to continue her journey.

I received continuous support, starting from primary school throughout my entire school life. Every year I received a school kit and a uniform. It wasn’t easy but, also thanks to Distance Support, I succeeded. Today I am 17 and I am proud to have obtained a technical diploma in secretarial work

Awa feels confident about her future. After college, she wants to become a nurse: “I want to make my parents proud, and thanks to this career I’ll be able to help people in need.”

Awa together with her mother, her siblings and the Distance Support educator who accompanied them throughout the whole support process

The Distance Support program was launched in Ivory Coast in 2008 with the goal of improving access to education, medical care, and regular meals for children in need. The program has supported 375 children and their vulnerable households in Abidjan, Dabou, Bouaké, and Daloa, also through the financing of the parents’ revenue-generating activities. Thanks to this kind of financing, Awa’s mother too has been able to improve her activity, enhancing the well-being of the whole family

Avsi Sostegno A Distanza
Distance support with AVSI: help a child to grow up
For less than one euro a day you will guarantee a child the opportunity to go to school, a healthy diet, the right to health.
  • 312€   Yearly
  • 27€   Monthly