On the cusp of a much-anticipated transition, a young man rises early in the morning to ensure that he takes care of his responsibilities. In the next couple of months, he will write his 12th-grade exams and attempt to defy the generational odds of graduating from high school. It’s hard to miss the ambition in his voice accompanied by animated gestures that convey determined confidence.
“Pray that I attain my goals in life. As a man, I want to be able to take care of my family and do something to help them have a better life.”
Aware of the opportunities that lay before him, Lupiya focuses on making his dreams a reality through the
hard work of academic study and developing farming skills. Lupiya is one of the older boys in the Tree of Life Children’s Village and has been given the incredible responsibility of supervising and mentoring some of the younger children in farming.
“I really feel good that I’ve been entrusted with the responsibility of teaching some of the younger children in the village. It means that I have learned a lot of things that can be passed on to others. I thank God that I’m a leader, and I don’t take that for granted.”
Lupiya is one of the most consistent students seen at the Legacy Farm. Hardly a day passes without seeing him working the vegetable garden or poultry unit. He has a desire to learn and improve himself by availing his time and energy to a variety of tasks that stretch beyond what’s asked of him.
“I truly believe that I have found something I really want to do for a long time. I can’t wait to purchase my own land and start practicing everything I have been taught here. I have learned so much, from vegetable garden management to learning how to work in a poultry unity. The fact that I have the skills to do it makes this more than just a far-fetched dream but an actual possibility.”
There’s more to Lupiya than meets the eye. He hasn’t always possessed the opportunities he has now and openly speaks about the struggles and losses that form his journey.
“I will always remember my mom, who worked so hard to provide for my four siblings and I. Life was really tough, but she just kept going. One day, she said she wasn’t feeling well, and before I knew it, she was being rushed to the nearest clinic. She was there for several days before she passed away.”
Not long after his family experienced this tragedy, Lupiya came across Family Legacy and was sponsored to attend one of the Legacy Academy schools before being moved to the Tree of Life Children’s Village.
“I love that I get to live in this place. I’m going to be leaving a better person than I was when I first arrived here. It hasn’t always been easy, but it has been one of the best things for me.”
Being the ambitious person he is, Lupiya is determined to attain success even beyond farming.
“I love music. I have several hardcover books filled with song lyrics I have written over the years. I look forward to a time when I can have my music recorded for people to hear.”
Young men like Lupiya inspire hope and a reason to believe that the next 50 years of Zambia’s future will be in good hands.