By Arthur Mapanza
Her water is drawn from a natural flowing stream she shares with wild and domesticated animals. If you thought that she treats it before drinking, I am sorry that is not the case. The price for chlorine is equal to some tea-spoons of sugar that they need more. Both the toilet and shower are outside their house, all a wall of rejected pieces of planks from a nearby Chinese owned timber processing factory. The toilet is a little round hole in the ground leading to mass sewer down, demanding for accuracy squatting by any user. For all weathers and times, the ten family members of Deborah’s family use it.
Deborah is a third generation of originally Angolan refugees. Her grandfather fled to Zambia in the late 1980s with Deborah’s father and other family members that found Angola no longer safe; ‘they had a home, but just nowhere to put it’.
Deborah was born in Kaoma on 23rd September 2002. She lost her beloved mother that she remembers and describes as a beautiful and loving person in 2008 whilst giving birth to a baby boy that did not live beyond a month.
Deborah’s family prides with five children that are still dependent on their father who runs a small unlicensed business. The first born is a 32 years old deaf lady who has added two members to the family house. The youngest in the family is an eighteen years old girl who has to re-do her secondary school for the sake of better or acceptable results.
When Deborah completes her tertiary education, she will be the first one not only to successfully complete her secondary school with fifteen points score of three distinctions and three merits in best six subjects but financially independent and a great game changer. In July of 2023, she begins her post-secondary studies at Kaoma Nursing School.
From the school records, she has been a school leader since her fourth grade and a member of the JETS (Juniour Engineers, Technicians and Scientists) club.
In Deborah, we see a village well that will water the present plants to an acceptable greenery.
Deborah’s father has vowed not to marry till the children are of such an age where they are not prone to abuse by a step-mother. This level of love no matter how well proved and admired is not enough in the absence of financial-educational support involved.
For every donation that is made to WISE-Zambia, many like Deborah are given power and voice to choose life not just surviving because one has breath.