It’s hard to believe a girl so small can hold 50 pounds of wood on her head.
Her name is Deborah, and she is 10 years old. Any of us could have been born into her situation, but we were not.
She is one of five children living with her aunt in a village in the bush. For a girl who is just 10 years old, her life holds many challenges. When we found her, she was coming down from a mountain in the bush, alone, balancing 50 pounds of firewood on her head.
Deborah started explaining her life to us. Every day, she travels 3 miles one way into the bush to collect firewood. She used to be in school but had to to stop because the 12 mile walk to and from school was becoming too challenging. She also became frightened making the journey by herself. During her daily trip to find to firewood, she encounters scorpions, snakes, and monkeys, just to name a few. To get home, she has to cross an unstable bridge made of old fallen trees. She gets scared when crossing it because if she fell in, no one would be able to see her or find her.
She has no choice but to make this journey every day. She will get beaten or denied food if she comes back emptyhanded. She longs to be in school and to escape the life of struggle that she has been leading. We walked her home and talked to her aunt about enrolling her in African Vision of Hope School, but her aunt refused. She needs Deborah to collect firewood to make money for their family.
This is the reality of many children living in Zambia, but this doesn’t have to be their story! You can write the next chapter. It is as easy as $30 a month.
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