Forgotten Voices' Mission:

"Demonstrating the love of Jesus Christ by equipping local churches in southern Africa to meet the physical & spiritual needs of children orphaned by AIDS in their communities."

Monday, December 10, 2007

Meet Hope

In some ways, Hope* (see note at bottom) is a lot like any other 12 year old girl. She likes going to school, where Mathematics is her favorite subject. Her favorite pastime is playing with her two kittens. When she grows up she wants to be an accountant and eventually a nurse. She is well-spoken, polite and seems quite mature for her age.

But beyond this familiar childhood picture is a heart-breaking reality. Hope is one of over a million orphaned and vulnerable children living in Zimbabwe.

Hope lives with her mother, two siblings and her grandparents. Her father passed away in mid-2006. She says the thing she misses most is playing with him before school and going to church together. His death meant not only the loss of a father and husband, but the loss of their financial provider. Hope’s family is now unable to pay for her school fees, and if it weren’t for the support of a local Community AIDS Project, she wouldn’t be in school at all. Her math homework is done by candlelight on a tiny, cluttered desk in a one-room mud brick hut where she, her mother and her siblings sleep. Her desire to be an accountant and a nurse is fueled, in part, by the hope that these careers will allow her to earn enough money to support her family. When asked why she wants to be a nurse, she answers, “so I can earn money to send to my mother to buy food and to buy anything else she needs.”

A visit to Hope’s home highlights the thin line she walks between a hopeful or a devastating future. Her grandmother says that children who don’t go to school lived wayward lives, and fears that could happen to Hope if she wasn’t able to continue her education. The family has a fairly large plot of land with large fields, two small granaries and farm equipment. But with no rain and no money to buy seed, they are still unable to provide for themselves. Hope’s family struggles to obtain the school uniforms and school supplies she needs to be well-equipped to learn. And though she has several adult relatives who love and care for her, her mother is unwell and her grandparents are aging.

Through the partnerships between Forgotten Voices and her community, Hope is pressing forward toward a hopeful future. She recently took her grade 7 exams, which will determine whether she can start high school next year at the local boarding school. She’s nervously awaiting her exam results, but is optimistic that she did well.

When asked what she would say to the local AIDS Project staff, she smiles and says, “Thank you and bless you for helping my mother out of a big problem!”

Your gift makes Hope's story possible. To give a gift in support of projects like the one that is helping hope, visit us online today. Share Hope with children like Hope.

*Given the rising challenges in Zimbabwe, we have chosen to change the name of this child from her give name to protect her and her family. Currently, all orphans are considered vulnerable children. Whenever necessary, we choose to use different names. Those that care for them are made aware of this and have consented to this change.

Check out the incredible Krista Guenin at

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