Sarah is the youngest of five children. Her mother was a nurse at the district hospital and her father operated a carpentry shop. In 1998, Sarah’s mother became ill and was often in and out of hospital. Sarah did not know what was wrong with her mother. In 2003, her father also became ill. Her parents’ illness meant that most of their income went to hospital fees so Sarah’s older brothers were forced to drop out of school. In June 2004, Sarah overheard her brothers talking and discovered that her mother had AIDS.
Six months later, her mother died on 25th December 2004, Christmas Day. Three days later, Sarah received her school results: she had passed all her exams and could go to secondary school. Although her father was very ill, he continued to work so that Sarah could go to school. However, he could only pay the first term fees and in the second term, Sarah was also forced to drop out of school. Her elder brothers were now doing casual jobs to take care of the family and the medical expenses. Sarah also began to look for a job as a house maid.
In November 2005, Sarah’s father died. But two days later, some good news finally came her way. A former colleague of her mother came to tell her that she would be sponsored by the Girl Child Education Fund to continue her education.
When the school term began, the same woman came to escort her to school. Her fees, uniform and school meals were all paid for. Sarah was able to go back to school without interruption. Her performance in school has improved dramatically.
Sarah says: “The GCEF is a project that has made a significant difference in my life. It has transformed me from being a house maid to a student who will be a professional and contribute to the lives of many others as nurses have contributed to my life. Thank you very much for this noble project.”