|Rute & Jennifer Searls | Zambia 2012|
With so many difficult issues confronting girls, it can be overwhelming to know where or how to begin to help. One of the ways our family has responded is by sponsoring children through World Vision. We sponsor a little girl from rural southern Zambia and because of my travels to Zambia with WaterAfrica, I’ve had the privilege of meeting Rute.
|Rute in center with pencil & paper | Zambia 2010|
I first met Rute in 2010 at her family’s home. This 8-year old girl, in a shiny bright green dress, was so delighted with the paper and pens I pulled from my bag that she took them and immediately began writing. Rute has tremendous potential for educational success. As a mother and a teacher and a very proud Sponsor, I resolved to continue providing encouragement and resources to help this dear girl grow into her potential.
|Presentation by WASH Club participants | Zambia 2012|
Joyce Mweemba Sendoi oversees World Vision’s Sanitation and Hygiene programs in Zambia and we asked her about this problem. She explained that the cultural tradition in rural Zambia keeps activities and conversation surrounding a monthly period very private. Even to speak of it is embarrassing. Without discreet supplies and private spaces to manage the details, girls stay away from school during their period. Some girls have the capacity to rise above this challenge and catch up/keep up, but for many girls – missing days of school on a regular basis causes them to fall behind. Eventually they give up and quit.
|School Girls in WASH Club | Zambia 2012|
World Vision implements a successful WASH program in Zambia. We’ve talked a lot about how this changes lives – empowering villagers to pursue activities beyond collecting and coping with dirty water, but we haven’t talked much about the Sanitation and Hygiene impact on education.