These are just some of the dismal stories of our students and their families. The list of narratives is incessant. The strong presence of TOSF in the impoverished area of George Compound in Matero Township, has impacted many lives over the last 10 years.
Here are some stories:
1.Peter Mumbi , Grade 11
Peter and his 4 siblings are orphans. 5 years ago, Peter’s elder sister who was 16 years old stopped school to put food on the table for her then month old infant brother and her 3 younger siblings. Peter came to TOSF School in 2014 to repeat his grade 7 exams, though he had attained his grade 7 certificate at another community school because he had heard that TOSF sponsors students to government secondary schools if they have good grades.
Today, Peter is a grade 11 student, 1 year away from his GCE O levels. TOSF has given him a microloan to sell fruits of the season after school, in order to support his siblings. His elder sister got married at a very young age and has become a young single mother herself. Peter Mumbi a teenager has been a TOSF bursar since 2015 as well as the head and bread winner of his family (photo from right to left are Peter the 3 younger siblings and his elder sister).
2. Albert Phiri, Grade 11
Albert’s mum collects scrap material to sew doormats which occasionally gives her a paltry income of
about US$5 per week. Very often his mum goes without food when she does not make a sale, while her 3 children and 3 grandchildren eat a single meal of porridge at TOSF School or look for food.
Albert is in grade 11 now and is hoping to sit for his grade 12 O level exams in 2019. They live from hand to mouth with food donations.
3. Anna, Grade 6
Anna lives with her cousins, Charles and Jessy and her mentally and physically handicapped brother. All of them are orphans and some of the children are HIV positive. Their grandmother and young aunt were feeding the family through church rations and odd jobs until grandma suffered a partial stroke in 2017. The children eat their only meal for the day at TOSF School while the grandma, aunt and handicapped brother go hungry.
TOSF gave the teenage aunt a microloan and nurtured grandma back to health with warm beddings, clothes and food. To date, the aunt manages daily to put food on the table due to the microloan which helped improve their lives. Grandma is back on her feet. The handicapped brother now has bus fare to go to a school for the handicapped while Anna, Charles and Jessy do not have to wait for handouts.
4. Catherine Taibolo, Grade 6
Catherine’s mum can hardly make ends meet, with her husband at the Assisi Mental Institution and 5 mouths to feed. She and her children sleep on the cold floor during winter and she is requesting for mattress and food. TOSF has given Mrs Taibolo a microloan and is looking to provide more support.
5. Boy X (identity withheld), Grade12
Boy X has been HIV positive since birth, is an orphan and lives with his grandma. He has been in TOSF School since grade 3 and goes to a government secondary school through the TOSF bursary program. He was gravely ill for nearly a year because he was given a wrong dosage of anti retroviral drugs. Despite his illness and having lost about 20kg, he came to ask TOSF if we would sponsor his education. He failed in his first attempt and repeated grade 9 exams and passed during the 2nd attempt. Due to his perseverance and TOSF nurturing his dreams and being there for him and his grandmother, today he is in grade 12 and aiming to complete his secondary education in 2018.
6. Lemuis Lungu, Grade 5
10 year old Lemuis takes care of his blind grandmother after school and also has to rummage around for food or wait on well wishers who donate food, or from TOSF. He lost his parents in a car accident and is left in the charge of his blind grandma. They have no means of income.
7. Lukwesa family
Their father has an alcohol dependency and physically abuses his wife and 6 children. Boy C is in grade 6 at
TOSF School while brother J was a bursar with the TOSF bursary program. The TOSF bursar dropped out of the
bursary program due to bad grades and the grade 6 student at TOSF school is often absent because both boys dig pit latrines, water wells and rubbish dumps to make a living; to supplement what their mother makes from washing clothes door to door.