In August, therapist Lauri Benblatt traveled to Zimbabwe to work with Tariro students. At our annual empowerment camp, she initiated a “hero book” projects, intended to conduct group counseling sessions through an artistic medium. As part of our current fundraising campaign, I’ll be posting a new hero book each week. The hero books are an illuminating window into our girls lives, for in them, the girls conceptualize their lives as a road, discussing the obstacles they’ve met along the way, and how they’ve sought to overcome them.
This week, I’m featuring the hero book of student Faith P. A long-time member of our marimba and dance group, Faith is in Form 3 at Herentals College in Highfield. A single orphan, she lives with her mother after losing her father. For Faith, the challenges her mother has struggled with after her father’s death have made her mother her personal hero:
My mother is my hero because she always find a possible solution to many of her problem. And some of the problem started when my father died, he died when I was Grade 3 and my brothers and my sister were in O level. And also my younger sister was 1 year old. My mother does not work. She always do piece jobs like washing peoples’ clothes, dish and even sweeping. Through all this my mother provide almost everything for me and my younger sister.
As Faith relates in her hero book, single orphans, as well as children who have lost both parents, are also at extremely high risk for dropping out of school:
Some things were difficult for me and all of my family members. When my father died all of his family members wanted to sell my father’s house in Waterfalls and they even did so. They even sent us out of the house. But with the love of God one of my father’s family members chanced his mind and gave us a place for us to stay and that person is my father’s daddy, my grandfather. And now my mother is doing piece jobs still we are still living at my grandfathers home.
Just after my father died I spent 6 months without going to school because my mother did not have the money to send me to school and I had to help her in some of the piece jobs that she was doing in order for us to survive. I, my mother and my sister we had to sell some fire wood for us to eat and even go to school. During this time my brother had to stay with my uncle in Highfield because he was in Form 4. I spent 6 months without going to school but I passed my grade 7 examinations. What I did was not expected by many people of what happened in my life before.
Faith’s story, however, does not end there. Because of Tariro’s timely intervention, Faith was able to proceed forward with her education, enrolling in secondary school:
With the help of many people in the community, friends, school, including Tariro organization and my family, I was able to go to school and they teached my that I, my mother and also family we now that this is not the end of our lives. We must not stand at one point and we now know that life has humps and we mustn’t stand at one point, you must move on with your life.
And we also learnt that disappointments are moments in life and we must move on with your life. Besides all of this I also learnt that God does everything for a purpose and also every moment in your life have a purpose in life. Even when things goes wrong, you must keep on pulling the top until you go higher.
Faith’s story ends with what she loves- “I like to read novel and enjoying myself so that I can forget all of my problems. I like to share my problems with friends I trust and to play mbira with my grandfather”- as well as her hopes and dreams:
I hope that I will pass 7 subject in my O level examinations so that I can go on with school and I will achieve my dreams of becoming a chief account in order to change the way of living in my family. I need to work hard and I will get all of my dreams.
Please join Tariro in our annual fundraising campaign. Your donation will enable Tariro to continue to pay school fees and related expenses for Faith, as well as over 50 other students who have lost parents, primarily due to HIV/AIDS.