For Bertha most of her early life felt like a struggle. She knew more than anything she wanted to go to school but the door of opportunity was continually closed on her. She did not have school fees to go to the public schools, she did not have the proper uniform, or she was forced to work the market to sell fish. Time after time all she could do was watch as the other children set out on their walk to school. Bertha cannot read or write, a common statistic in Zambia where the literacy rate is only 61%. Bertha said, “Not knowing to read or write is hard. It’s like going blind through life. You don’t know what signs say or what documents are about. Anybody can hurt you.”

“Not knowing how to write and read is hard. It’s like going blind through life. You don’t know what signs say or what documents are about. Anybody can hurt you.”

Bertha’s literacy problems stole her hopes and dreams of success in life. It wasn’t until she heard about African Vision of Hope at the water well that she started to have hope. Bertha just started school with us at African Vision of Hope, she is in 1st grade and 12 years old. With each new day she is learning and growing into the scholar she always longed to be. Bertha said she has never felt so proud. She told us, “My heart is so full of happiness it feels like it might burst. I know my teacher believes in me and I know I am going to make a difference.” After schools when her chores are finished she loves to help share what she learned with the younger children that are not in school. “I know how they feel; that was me. Now I can share with them what I so wanted to learn. Life is beautiful and I want to share its beauty.”

Give the Gift of Literacy