“When I was a year old, my father passed away. My mother had to go door to door looking for petty jobs, so that she could buy food and send me and my sister to school. Because we were so poor, I attended when we could afford the fees but had to stay out when we could not.
In 2014, when I was in grade eight, I had a baby girl. A year and a half later, the father of the child left us. He said he was going to look for a job, which was a lie. Life became hard; I was not concerned about school, I was just thinking about my baby. I started farming and selling vegetables at the market. I tried my best, but I failed.
Then my mother advised me to go to Lusaka, our capital city, to look for a job so that we could survive. I left my two-year-old in the village with her. In Lusaka, I finally got employed as a maid. I earned only K250 ($25) a month, which was not enough for me to support myself and my daughter back in the village. So after six months, I looked for another job in the food processing industries. But they told me they needed grade nine results, which I didn’t have.
I found another job as a maid, instead. Then one of my friends told me about the DREAMS program at Ngwerere Lubuto Library. They were looking for young mothers who could learn how to read and write in three months. After graduating from this course, I joined the mentoring program and was selected for a DREAMS scholarship. The program bought us school shoes, bags, and books, and it also pays our school fees. I am now back in school, and my dream is to become a nurse upon completing my studies.”
*This story was published in DREAMS Innovation Challenge: Silence Speaks- Youth Stories