Thank you to Idah’s Sponsors, Cindy and Ed Valentine
Idah is currently a Medical Student at Mulungushi University. She is the oldest of four children. Both of her parents have passed away, leaving Idah, her two brothers and sister orphaned and under the care of their grandfather. Her grandfather was unable to raise funds to pay for school fees, and in many homes, Idah – being the oldest daughter – would not have the option to pursue her secondary education. Instead, she would be held responsible to care for her younger siblings. With the help of Bakashana and her sponsors Cindy and Ed Valentine, Idah completed boarding school at the finest school in Kasama, and scored very high on the state exam. Idah’s strong, quiet presence, and ambition to pursue employment in the medical field after school, pushed her through secondary school. Now, with continued help from Cindy and Ed, and Bakashana, Idah is continuing to follow her dreams!
Ruth is currently on Full Bursary at the University of Zambia studying a BA of Education and Library Studies. Ruth was orphaned at a young age, and her opportunity to pursue a high school education were slim. Thanks to the support she received from Bakashana, Ruth attended school, studied hard, and took advantage of the opportunity she was given to learn at Kasama Girls School. Ruth faced and overcame many challenges, and managed to get good grades and score well on the 12th grade national exam. She then moved to Lusaka and began using her personable nature, her motivation, and help from Bakashana, to search for sponsors for University. She was accepted on full scholarship to the University of Zambia (UNZA), and is now in her last year to complete her degree. We are so proud of Ruth, and look forward to continuing to work together and support her as she becomes Bakashana’s first University Graduate!
Patricia Besa is studying at Kasama Teachers Training College to be a Secondary School Teacher. Patricia is the 3rd of 5 children. In primary school, she passed 8 of 9 classes and had the highest scores on the tests Bakashana administered for admission into scholarship. She is from Mpika district in the village of Lucembe. Patricia was in the Girls Leading our World (GLOW) club and was even selected to go to Lusaka in 2010 where she met Hillary Clinton. Both of Patricia’s parents are living but they struggled with school fees, until Bakashana assisted the family. Many family members are not supportive of Patricia going to school, but her mother and another female relative have encouraged her. Patricia is thrilled to have graduated secondary school, and is working hard to acquire her teaching certificate and procure gainful employment.
Prudence Mulenga is from Lukupa village in Kasama district about 15 km outside of Kasama. Her father died 10 years ago and she lives with her mother and 2 younger sisters. She is outgoing, sassy, and has a passion for drama and art. Since graduating from secodary school, she has been running her own business in the village, producing baked goods. She supports her son and husband and helps her grandmother with farming.
Christine comes from a family who could simply not afford to send her to secondary school. She approached the Bakashana program and fought hard to earn a spot on scholarship. She studied hard and used her good-natured smile and intelligence to help her push through secondary school.
Thank you to Sarah’s Full Sponsors, Pan and Carl Awsumb, Todd and Krystina Barnum, Sherry Hostetter, and Mac and Mo Smith!
Sarah Mwango is the second to last born in a family of five. Her parents are both now in their late 60s and continue to support themselves as subsistence farmers. Sarah is the first in her extended family to have attended high school, so it was quite an accomplishment when she graduated! She comes from Lukupa village, where Justin and Claire have been hosted so graciously for many years. As a reward for her hard work at school and on the farm, she lived at the Bakashana resource center where she fully immerse herself in her studies. Now, she has returned to the farm older, wiser, and with a plan to help her parents make their farm more profitable and productive.
Christabell Chewe is currently attending the Kasama School of Nursing, after graduating from Kasama Girls School in 2018. She has one brother and two sisters, and is the third born. Her father died in January 2006, and since then, her mother has been supporting her and her siblings alone. Her mother, Judith Mulenga, farms small plots of maize to provide for her children. To earn additional money, Judith and her sister brew a hard grain alcohol called kacasu (ka-cha-su) and sell it out of their home. As with many native communities, alcohol has created many social problems in Kasama and surrounding areas, leading to increased rates of crime and domestic abuse. Most of those who consume this liquor are men.
As you can imagine, living at a bar is not easy for a young woman. Against these odds, Christabell worked hard to achieve commendable results at school. For these reasons, and with help from Bakashana, Christabell managed to graduate and is on the path to becoming a nurse!
Marvelous is currently attending Kasama Nursing College after graduating with high marks against all odds! Marvelous’ father died when she was 10 years old, and since that time, her mother has supported 8 children on her own by subsistence farming. She is one of four girls and has four brothers as well. The family lives in a single-room, grass-thatched house. Marvelous was one of 4 girls from her primary school to pass her grade 7 national exams and be selected to move on to secondary school. Marvelous is outgoing, athletic, and passionate about school. She said that being admitted to Nursing school, and being chosen to be sponsored by the Bakashana family have been the greatest achievements of her life.
Susan is a quiet force who loves football and comes alive when performing in drama skits or reciting poetry. She lives with her mother and 3 older sisters in Bwembya village. Before graduating, Susan walked the 15 KM to and from her village to Laura Girls School each day, proving to her family and the bakashana family her ambition to become educated. Susan’s mother is a subsistence farmer who has found it challenging to support her 5 daughters on her own. Bakashana is excited that Susan is a part of our family.
Theresa’s story was brought/to our attention in the second term of the school year because her case was urgent. As she told us, Bakashana was her last hope. Though the brightest and highest-scoring in her grade 9 class, Theresa’s lack of family support and finances prevented her from starting grade 10 on-time. We were fortunate to secure a spot for her at a Boarding school about 100 km outside of Kasama. The Head Teacher only agreed to enroll her (though she missed the first term) because of her outstanding marks and proactive attitude. Theresa has been living with her Grandparents since 2009, after her Father passed away and Mother abandoned her and her two siblings, not to be seen or heard from for more than 11 years. Theresa’s life at home with her grandparents is not conducive to learning, and she has had a rough go.
Regardless of these obstacles, she has persevered and pro-actively pursued the future that she knows she deserves instead of sitting back and letting her life pass her by. We feel grateful to have such a confident, well-spoken and strong young woman as part of the Bakashana family.
“I stopped going to school in grade seven because my parents were having a hard time finding money for school. I stayed home, after we found some money I repeated grade seven. I managed to pass again but there was still no money for school. We used to pray as a family for help. We asked other family members for help but they were facing their own problems. We asked neighbors, friends, and schools but nothing changed. We never lost hope and continued praying.”
Paxina was being taken care of by her Grandmother and Mother, both of whom are peasant farmers. She passed her grade 9 national exam three years in a row, but each year repeated because the family didn’t have enough money to send her to school in town. Finally, \Paxina’s story was brought to our attention by a Peace Corps Volunteer, Katie. Paxina travelled from neighboring District Mbala to be a part of the Bakashana program and complete her education at Kasama Girls School.
Veronica graduated from a Skills School in Kasama, and is searching for a job in tailoring. She was recommended by the Head Teacher at Laura Girls School. She had come to school in 2014 in need of assistance, but her grades were not good enough for her to be admitted. On recommendation, she repeated grade 8 at the school in her village, and achieved her goal, passing with high marks last year. Veronica has always wanted to go to Laura Girls School, and has been showing up on weekends to help in small ways with gardening and washing in order to secure a place for herself. She lost both of her parents at a young age. Since that time, she has been staying with her single Aunt who gets by selling fry cakes.