Student Profile: A Story of Resilience

Meaning of Resilience:  the ability to become strong, healthy, or successful again after something bad happens. 

IMG_6163 (crop)This word describes most of the PZ students, but one in particular comes to mind when we think of a resilient student.

Jane Doe* was the first born in 1996 to a happily married couple in a nearby village to Naymuswa.   When she was yet quite young, her father died, which left her mother with three small children to care for.  Her mother, in an effort to find support for her family, married another man.  Unfortunately, the man was HIV positive and in turn infected Jane’s mother and after a prolonged period of being ill, she died.

Not many days after the burial of Jane’s mother, the step father took over the care of Jane and subjected her to extra work and he raped her on numerous occasions, until she also was infected with AIDS.   It was the neighbors who noticed some suspicious behaviors and they reported this to the local authorities at which time the man ran away. Jane’s family members and elders were trying to hide what had happened, for fear of shame in the community.

But, when Jane’s Guardian Teacher heard about what happened she reported it to the school counselors.  After a tender and personal conversation with Jane, she opened up and confided what had happened.

Soon after this, Jane was taken to the Patient Support Center (PSC) to begin taking ARV medication to treat the AIDS.  Since this time, Jane has been staying with her step-brother until she completed her primary education in 2015 and from there she joined the Zinduka Vocational Center to focus her education on tailoring and needle work.   Jane now lives in the dorm at the school and eats in the new cafeteria (made possible by the Chakula Challenge)!

These particular skills will give her an opportunity in the future to create her own income. She is particularly motivated and enthusiastic.  Her school counselor mentions that she is a girl of a great deal of integrity known by the way she behaves with her fellow classmates and her teachers; despite being ill-treated in primary school.   Her school counselor reports, “despite all of the above, we observed that the girl is interested from the bottom of her heart to learn and innovate new ideas in the tailoring field”.

Jane is thankful for the support of her sponsors and to all of the Project Zawadi donors who make ‘possibility’ happen.

We are most thankful for the resilience that lives within Jane, and the other students with Project Zawadi, to stay hopeful for a wonderful future!

*We have changed the student’s name to protect her privacy.

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