Chisomo Stories - The Children

Wendy Kandala

Wendy says that she is 11 years old, as told by her mother. She lost her father when she was very young who was called Frazer Kandala. Her mother’s name is Elizabeth Sakala who is reported to be ill and staying with friends at Mississi Compound  as she is unable to pay for her own accommodation.


Wendy was brought to the Shelter by the Lusaka District Social Welfare office on February,  2019  in company of her friends after going to the Child Protection Unit, seeking help in finding a place to stay and put in school. She has never attended school despite being of school going age. She was introduced to the streets by her friends and has been going into the streets to beg for money for some time. Her mother is unable to provide for Wendy and her siblings.

Mercy Zulu

Mercy Zulu was brought to the Shelter by Lusaka District Social, January 2018. We are not certain about her age, but she is between 13 and 15 years. We do not have information about Mercy’s background and origin. At the time of her coming we noticed that she is a special needs child, as she cannot speak and is unable to use her hands effectively. She cannot brush her teeth or wash her face. She hears and responds without any problem. 

Purity Bwalya

Purity says that she is 10 years old and was born October, 2008 in Lusaka. She was brought to the Shelter in February, 2019 by the District Social Welfare Office. She and her three friends had gone to the Child Protection Unit for help as they sought for a place to stay and go to school. Both her parents are alive but life at home is tough. The parents are together but have never bothered to put her in school despite the girl being school-age. Her mother’s name is Beauty Bwalya and her father is Patrick Mwale.


Purity has been going into the streets for quite some time to beg for money and she says her mother approved the practice as she could also receive and make use of the money brought by the girl. Purity wants to go to school.

Brenda Choongo

Brenda Choongo says that she is 12 years old and was born in  December, 2006 and has been on the streets for some time. Both her parents are alive and are staying in Mississi Compound. Her father’s name is Patrick Choongo and her mother is Violet Chanda. Brenda says that she has been going to the streets to beg for money for over a year, but could always go back to sleep at home.


She has four siblings. Life at home is tough and her parents never bothered putting her in school. Her young brother is being looked after by a pastor, but the other three children are staying with her parents. 


Brenda heard someone talk about Children’s Shelters and after asking around she was told about the Child Protection Unit of the Zambia Police. She and three friends decided to visit the CPU offices and they were referred to the District Social Welfare Office. Brenda wants to go to school.

Jesnala Banda

Jesnala Banda was brought to the Shelter February, 2019 by the Department of Social Welfare. She is 10 years old and single orphaned. Her mother’s name is Mutinta Milimo, who she says is mentally ill and her friends have confirmed it. Her mother currently resides in Mississi Compound here in Lusaka. The girl does not know the house number where her mother stays.


Jesnala says that she was introduced to the streets by her friends who had been frequenting the streets for some time. She says she goes into the streets to beg for money. No one has bothered to put her in school. She and her three friends went to the Child Protection Unit of the Zambia Police for help in finding a place to stay. Jenala has no one to look after her and she wants to go to school.

Given

Given is 12 years old. His father was a fisherman and died in a swamp. His mother is still alive but she no longer wanted to care for Given or for his older brother. Given has two younger brothers and one sister who still live with his mother, but he doesn’t get to see them anymore. Before coming to Chisomo he lived in the Soweto market and earned his money by emptying out garbage bins from restaurants. He would get paid 500 kwacha or about 12 cents for each bin that he emptied. Given explains that life in the streets was very hard and he heard about Chisomo from a friend. Given enjoys the schooling, food and shelter that he receives at Chisomo and he loves to do mathematics. When asked what he would like to do when he grows up, he responded that he had never thought of growing up until now.

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