Photo Gallery Nanavi August 17, 2016 In the tiny village of Koutagba in Benin, West Africa, 9-year-old Nanavi Todénou is the first girl from her family to enroll in school thanks to a countrywide initiative aimed at ending the gender gap in school enrollment. The usual path for girls her age in her village was to be initiated into the traditional voodoo convent and readied for marriage. But the voodoo priest has given his permission for Nanavi to attend school.When we returned to Benin in 2006, Nanavi’s father had died, leaving the family destitute. Nanavi’s mother struggles to scrape together a few dollars for chalk and supplies so that Nanavi can stay in school and fulfill her father’s last wish that she continue her education. “My father told me to go to school and not to rest,” says Nanavi.As she gets older, the odds that Nanavi will complete her schooling lessen as the obstacles pile on. Just over half of girls in Benin make it past primary school. Nanavi’s sixth grade class is a two-hour walk away from her village and she struggles to keep up with the coursework while dealing with the challenges of adolescence. Nanavi dropped out of school before finishing the 8th grade, but is now in a photography training program in the city of Bohicon where she lives with her partner and their son, Fortune. The years she spent in school made a huge difference in Nanavi’s life. Without the ability to read, write and speak French, having a job as a photographer would have been impossible.Nanavi says, “It pains me that I couldn’t stay in school and that’s why my son will do what I wasn’t able to. He will study and I will help him. He will go further than I was able to go.” Meet other Time for School students.