The Zambian sun beats down on the dirt path as Prudence makes her 2-hour journey to school. She takes a deep breath as she enters the classroom. She knows she will be laughed at by the other kids.
Prudence remembers the heartbreak she felt when the teacher told her not to come back unless she could pay her school fees.
“I knew education would be my only way out of extreme poverty, and I feared being sold into marriage.”
Zambia has one of the highest rates of child marriage in Africa, and Prudence’s concern was a reality for so many of her friends.
Prudence’s sister was sold into marriage at age 14. As Prudence watched her die during childbirth, she felt she would have the same future of hopelessness.
Life was hard to understand as a young child with so many burdens. She would cry herself to sleep each night because of hunger.
Prudence was gathering leftover crops from neighbors’ fields when a man named Foliad greeted her and asked her why she wasn’t in school. Foliad told her about a school that provided a free education. It was the first time Prudence began to feel hope for her future.
“That was the moment when everything changed.”
Prudence moved into one of the African Vision of Hope rescue homes and she started school immediately. It was her first time sleeping in a bed and having food every day. After high school, she was awarded a college scholarship from African Vision of Hope where she just completed her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Midwifery.