Nurse Clementina treks through the trash dump, medically ministering to the families who live there.
“God found some of the strongest women and made them nurses.” This is certainly no exception when it comes to African Vision of Hope’s School nurse, Clementina. She has been with African Vision of Hope since 2009 and is a treasured – and priceless – member of the team. When she is not at African Vision of Hope, she works as a part-time midwife.
Nurse Clementina is considered an angel on earth to the people she serves. Her job is one of the hardest to accomplish. She travels through trash dumps, shanty compounds, and the bush to treat students, staff, and their villages with quality health care. Myths, misunderstandings, misconceptions, and a lack of education are responsible for the widespread AIDS epidemic and increased underage pregnancy rates throughout Zambia. Nurse Clementina must work against these challenges to educate the students and community on how to decrease the spread of AIDS, the rate of teenage pregnancy, other illnesses such as malaria, infections, and parasites, along with providing basic health services. “I love saving lives and ensuring children, mothers, and babies have the best chance at a healthy, good life.”
Being a mother and grandmother has given Clementina a deeper passion and understanding for her job as a nurse. She is a widow with two adult daughters, one of them a victim of underage pregnancy. Clementina has taken in her grandson and helps raise him. “As a mother and grandmother, I am able to understand what these children go through when they get pregnant while still in school, and what their parents go through. Some girls, when they become pregnant, may end up thinking of aborting their pregnancy if they are not properly educated. That is why it is important for us to support them.”
When asked about the challenges she faced working with our students during the COVID-19 pandemic, she shared many of the students and their families did not believe in the pandemic, making it difficult to prevent and educate them on the illness. Her biggest challenge has been the number of teenage pregnancies increasing while students were home during school shutdowns. “At the clinic, we have recorded a number of these teen pregnancies – too many of them.”
Without our beloved nurse, many new or expecting mothers would not receive the vitamins they need. Countless cases of AIDS would go untreated or un-prevented. Many young women would not learn how to escape their abusive relationships and cultural limitations. Hundreds of children and families with preventable diseases and illnesses would be left undiagnosed and untreated.
Thank you, Nurse Clementina, for your selfless servanthood to the most vulnerable. And thank you, generous donors, for making her work possible. With your continued support, our “angel on earth” can continue being just that.
African Vision of Hope is a Christian organization committed to bringing immediate and lasting solutions to children and families living in extreme poverty. We confront the root causes of poverty by providing opportunities to be educated, grow up healthy, develop leadership and economic skills and learn about God’s love.