“I don’t know who my father is but what I know is that my late mum gave birth to me when her late husband (Step father) was in prison and when he was released he found my mother pregnant with me, he collapsed and that was the end of his life. My mother later died when I was just 3 years old and no one knows the identity of my real father.
From my birth, my 3 half siblings never accepted me fully because somehow I caused the death of their father. I have grown up with my grandparents but life hasn’t been easy for me. I survived primary education because it’s for free and I had A’s and B’s at my primary school leaving certificate, amazing right? But that’s when reality began, I needed fees for my secondary education and no one was there to provide that for me so I stayed in the village doing nothing until my half sister called me to go stay with her. This was exciting news for me, thinking that my journey to continue my secondary education, that I only attended for 3 terms, will begin again.
I packed my bags and traveled all the way from Mzuzu to Dedza. I arrived at my sisters place and to my surprise they were not sending me to school like I thought but instead they arranged a man, a man for me to marry, a man for me to give kids to and did I say I was 15 by then? My church wanted to help me with my school fees when I was at my sisters but because she had other plans, plans to marry me off, her and the husband did all they could to break the church from helping me. The man they arranged for me was one business man who goes to South Africa so the deal was I marry him he pays fees for me. I refused because all I wanted was a pen, a notebook, and an amount less than K10,000 to go to school ($14 USD).
I got lucky when the man backed off from me but he gave pressure to my sister to return all the money she was enjoying on my behalf. I was still in shock on what my half sister did but the unthinkable happened with my in-law; my sisters husband tried to rape me. Yes, he tried it several times but by God’s Grace, his attempts failed all the time. I was scared to share this with my sister because she told me from day one when I went to her house to keep distance from her husband. Was she going to believe me if I told her what was happening? I wondered.
Fast forward to now, I was taken out from my sisters house when I shared what was happening to elders and I went back to my grannies who had nothing to offer me. Later a family in Lilongwe wanted a house helper and I offered myself to do that in exchange that they just pay my secondary education, that was the agreement but 2 months passed and still they were not sending me to school. Another family from Chinsapo has now “adopted me” but on condition that they will just provide shelter not school because they have too many responsibilities. All I want is school, nothing else.
I was told that there is an organization that operates in the Chinsapo community called Chisomo Idea that offers free part time tutoring lessons every Saturday and maybe I could consider going there for starters. One Saturday morning, I went to Chinsapo Primary to see if I could attend the free classes. Deep down I knew that it’s just part time lessons and the teachers there only offer 4 key subjects but I still went. I sat in a class for form 2 students and mathematics was being taught and Sellah Singini was the teacher, she looked at me and said “you are new right?” I nodded. “You don’t have a notebook though so where are you going to write?” Before I could reply she took her hardcover and gave me.
I was there in a part class but I haven’t been in school for about 2 years how was I going to tell her? I thought. As if she read my mind she asked me “Which school do you go to and what are you learning now under Maths from your school?” I said, “I am doing geometry with this class.” I just answered I don’t go to school and you know what she did? She sacrificed the whole period, she was suppose to teach the form 4’s too but she took me aside, locked ourselves in a car and I explained my story to her and her first comment was “I dig deeper when one shares a story with me. Are sure what you are telling me is true?” I could see she was touched, and emotional about it. We exchanged numbers and she invited me to a ThursdayMentorship program under Chisomo Idea and since then we have been meeting and sharing stories until I gave her permission to share my story to others in the hope that my story can change for the better and I already see the beginning of a change just by interaction with Sellah and the spiritual Mentorship that Joan Mkandawire gives to me and other girls.
All I need is a K7500 per term for Government Schools. Private schools are welcomed too.”
[Story Shared by Patience Nvula, 17 years old. Patience has participated in Chisomo Idea since June and is now apart of the sponsorship program.]
Thank you for taking the time to care for friends around the world.
You and I were Made To Flourish.
Much love from your Chisomo Idea Family!