What does it mean to empower women when cultural roles dictate different values? The day starts early at the African Vision of Hope Community Training Center in Kalikiliki, Zambia. The community center is a place of refuge, training, learning, fellowship and encouragement. Women walk everyday for miles to gather in this busy little center, they know that without education and no job skills they will be scavenging or begging for food and money to send their children to school. Mary lost her entire family to an illness, including 6 siblings and her mother and father. She was young and doesn’t know how they died. ” I became a maid and was looked down on, I lived like an animal and was treated the same way, sleeping outside and forced into physical abuse. I have found refuge, safety and love at the community center. I am able to read and write, I am learning a skill and have people who love me, I have a new family” Mary has received counseling, is learning a skill and also finishing her education, something she will be able to pass on to future generations. The testimonies of these women provides evidence of the transformation in their lives, both physical and spiritual.

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