By: Kylee Tsuru
International Women’s Day is a time to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women. There are currently 5,572 girls in Family Legacy’s Child Sponsorship Program, and we believe they will transform into strong women of God. In a society where young girls are forced to work, often married off young and have children soon after, the concept of an education, hope and a future is often out of reach. But in our Legacy Academy schools, girls learn they are daughters of the King and have freedom in Christ. With this understanding and opportunity to receive an education, the girls in our sponsorship program are on course to become the women of God who will transform their nation for good.
Rose Zulu is one of these women. This is her story:
I was born in 1994. I grew up with my sisters and brother, but both of my parents passed away before I was 11 years old. Before my mom and dad passed away, life was enjoyable and everything was going well until my dad took a job in another province of Zambia. One day everything changed because he stopped sending money. We found out that he had married another woman without any concern for our family. My dad no longer supported us in any way, and life became very difficult. Living with my mom became challenging. We used to beg for food from our relatives just to survive. Unfortunately, after a few years my dad found out he was infected with HIV. It was too late for my dad to survive when he was diagnosed, and he passed away of AIDS in 2003. Even though my dad abandoned us when I was young and he mistreated my mom at times, I still loved him very much.
The day he died became the blackest day of my life.
Two years after my dad passed away, my mom also got sick. She was diagnosed with high blood pressure and HIV as well and never had strength to do things on her own. as a young girl, I had to take care of my mom, even bathing her. My mom passed away in 2005.
I started living with my aunt who could not manage to take care of me or even pay for my school. She used to send me to go sell goods on the street. Only after I sold everything was I able to go to school. I was doing grade seven at that time in a government school. When I passed my grade seven and was able to go to grade eight, I had no one to pay for my school fees. I decided to go to a community school where fees were at least low and affordable. I was working so hard on my own just to survive and it started affecting my body. I developed a heart problem. I would often spend my time on the street selling the goods and wouldn’t eat at times. Eventually I was in grade nine, but I never had time to study because I was still spending most of my time on the streets. When it was time for me to write my exam, I didn’t pass. The next year I wasn’t able to attend school due to lack of resources.
But in 2007, I attended Camp Life for the first time. I heard the word of God and how we are set free in Christ.
I continued to attend camp and in 2010, I received Jesus Christ as my Savior! After I became a Christian, I started to understand my situation more. In the same year, I was selected to move into Family Legacy’s full-time residential care. Family Legacy started sponsoring me, and I got to rewrite my grade nine exam, and this time I passed! I had the opportunity to have time to study and eat well so that my body could be restored. I lived a happy life and enjoyed the mothers that took care of us. I felt the love of God through the people I lived with. There was constant encouragement from my sisters as well as the house moms that I never used to experience at home.
God has used Family Legacy to empower my life with the knowledge of His word, send me to school and teach me on the effects of HIV/AIDS because I previously knew nothing about the disease.
I completed my grade 12 education at Arakan Girls School and am now pursuing my dream of becoming a nurse at Lusaka Apex Medical University. I recently took classes in biology, chemistry, mathematics, the fundamentals of nursing and the ethics of nursing and passed all of my year-one medical exams!
I have such a heart to help people who are sick and I know I developed this compassion when I was a young girl looking after my mom when she was so sick. After I complete my time in nursing school, I would like to become a nurse and even raise orphans within my own home, just like Family Legacy did for me.