I was able to sit down with Richard Daka, a graduated seminary student of African Vision of Hope. Richard is now a pastor and the principal of one of our five schools. He was telling me of his childhood and how he remembers sitting at one of the government schools with four kids to a desk. He grew up in a small village and can recall those three other boys; one is in prison, one did not get to live past his 12th birthday and the last is an alcoholic living in the village dump.

How do four boys living in extreme poverty in Zambia, with the same background, in the same community, end up with lives on completely different paths? All of the boys had uneducated parents, not enough money to pay for consistent schooling and were surrounded by a life that is almost impossible to break the chains of.

The first student started down a life of stealing to be able to feed himself, those patterns continued and compounded until he was shackled to a life of self-destruction and now sits in a prison cell.

The second student grew ill from drinking unclean water, combine that with his malnourishment and his life was taken away from him before he had a chance to live it.

The third student had to quickly grow from a boy to a man in need of providing for his siblings when his father abandoned them. Like so many “men” in this village, his only comfort has been to drink to numb the pain of his existence.

The fourth student, Richard, recognized that education is a key to a brighter future. When Richard was chased from the government school for not paying the school fees he found African Vision of Hope and was blessed to be given a sponsor.

So how do four boys with the same background who live within the same community end up with lives on completely different paths? The answer is YOU.

Your sponsorship prevents children from succumbing to the call of the street every day. You are the answer to preventable deaths, free education and learning of God’s value on every student’s life.

Richard told me he often thinks about his classmates and what “could have been”. He said, “The lost chance of greatness for one student becomes a lost chance of greatness for all of us.” That is why we are committed to being advocates for the children sitting at a desk with an uncertain future in front of them. We strive to turn that life of uncertainty into a life filled with confidence in God’s plan for their lives.