VillageSteps provides school fees from pre-school to university. Here are a few stories of scholarship recipients:
Isaac: I did not know what I was going to do with my life. I knew I had a vision to help other orphans, but how to accomplish it? I had been teaching but without materials and exam fees, it seemed the children could not go on. Then I was given fees for the students and a computer. I tutored them and all girls and one boy passed their exams for secondary school. Now, I have been asked to be a motivational speaker at the secondary schools. I also held a conference for orphans in Lusaka and 500 attended. I am hoping we can get scholarships for them to go to high school and even college as they know how to work hard for their goals.
Mbeshie: I took my exams and received marks of distinction in my subjects.
My father has no work and said it was impossible for him to afford tuition for me to attend secondary school. I am 13 and cannot earn enough money selling fruit on the street to pay my fees. So when I learned about VillageSteps and applied for a scholarship, it was like a dream. I am now in Matero Boys Secondary School. I am so grateful.
Rachel: I have lost so many people in my life. First, I lived with my grandparents. When they died, I located my mother, but she soon died. She told me where I could find my father. I did. I learned he had another wife and I had two brothers and a sister from this wife. The wife died, my father soon followed. I resolved I would keep our family together, so I worked as a maid to feed my brothers and sister. She was sick, so I paid for her to go to hospital. It took all my savings for school, but she died anyway. I graduated from secondary school with honors, thanks to the help of a Canadian woman. When she passed away, so did my dreams of going to college and becoming a social worker, to help orphans like me. But then VillageSteps gave me a scholarship to go to the University of Zambia. Now, I am in my last year at university. I told Ken and Suzanne I am strong. I do not give up on life, even though I did not know how the future would go. God has kept me alive so far. God is good.
Ruth: I was so joyous to hear the voices of Ken and Sue for the first time. I am now 14 and this last year, I began school. I have no mother or father. My aunt never attended school, but it was her dream that I could learn to read. Now, I am reading. I am at the top of my class in the school for the deaf. Through VillageSteps, I received a hearing aid and I can now hear. I am also learning to use the computer and have friends who are in school with me because of the conference that taught parents of deaf children about this disability. I learned that even people from America have this difficulty and I am not alone.
George: my struggle has been to stay in school. My father never had an education so he didn’t see why I needed to go to school. I begged him to let me just learn to read, and then I would stop. I learned quickly, and once I saw I could read, I wanted to learn more. I pleaded with him to let me finish primary school, then basic school, and when I passed my exams for secondary school and had outstanding marks, I convinced him to let me continue. Now, I see that with computer skills, I will be able to support myself and my family. I applied to a computer college and was accepted, but had no money for tuition. With my VillageSteps scholarship, I am now attending and have a future. My prayers have been answered. My next goal is to own a computer to assist me in my pursuit of my career.