2018 update on Annie
Annie is in her last year of junior high school and will be transitioning to senior high school next year. Ever since she got the DREAMS scholarship, she has believed more in herself and her ability to succeed. "If it had not been for the DREAMS scholarship, I would have been on the streets because I had no one to take me back to school. Since I became a DREAMS scholarship recipient, my life has changed. I am now able to go to school, and they are providing for me everything needed--for example, paying for my school fees, buying books, a bag, shoes, uniform, pads and everything needed for school."
Endlessly curious and talking a mile a minute, Annie is always ready to chat about her passions, which are extensive. They range from drawing (“My hands start shaking and I just have to draw!”) to acrobatics with Circus Zambia to trying out new recipes (her specialties are cakes and biscuits). However, her true love is designing: “I love to design dresses and bracelets. I like to get inspiration and learn from other people’s designs and then take that idea and make it my own.”
Yet Annie was really discouraged and almost gave up on going to school. She had been told by some family members, “you have no future so you should remain at home,” meaning her place should be helping with the house. Annie struggled under the lack of emotional and financial support she received at home. The DREAMS program and Lubuto’s staff provided a needed lifeline. Annie is seeing a change in herself and in the other girls in the DREAMS program: “DREAMS is making a difference because girls are becoming more confident and standing up for themselves. They are changing their thoughts and realizing that girls can do anything boys can do… That they are equal to boys.”
When talking about her future, Annie first said she wanted to be doctor…. But that was so she could change the dress code and design new uniforms. Her passion for creativity and design will definitely be in her future. The DREAMS program has ignited a new passion for education and standing up for girls: “I want to hold workshops and teach girls that early marriage is wrong. I want to stand up for them and for those who have no one who stand up for them.”