A Day in the Life of a Zambia Youth
Sylvester, born in the Kabweza community of Zambia in February 1992, was only 6 years old when his parents died.
Fortunately, he found a safety net.
The Kabweza community is a collection of 13 villages, with four livelihood improvement groups: Tigwilizane (Cooperation), Choolwe (Luck), Twalumba (Thank You) and Chikumbutso (Remembrance).
The groups’ sole objective is to support orphaned and vulnerable children around their area. Supported by ChildFund, group members meet to work as well as discuss progress within their community. Each group has between 20 and 25 members who offer their support to orphaned children.
Mr. and Mrs. Matilila are members of the Tigwilizane group in the Kabweza community. When they first joined, Tigwilizane had identified 96 vulnerable children in need of support in their area; 43 of whom were orphans.
The Matililas welcomed Sylvester, his brother Cliff and two sisters Loveness and Beauty into their family. Although the couple are farmers with only modest means, they have supported 12 orphans in their community at various times.
The Matililas' only source of income is from growing corn and sweet potatoes. Sometimes they go without food.
Although they struggle to feed themselves and meet basic needs, they work hard to ensure their “adopted” children are able to attend school.
Not only were Sylvester and his siblings given a place to call “home,” but the Matililas also have provided support in the form of school fees, books, uniforms, clothing and food.
Sylvester spends his free time working at the chicken house, helping with the community’s cooking oil extraction project and caring for the goats.
As he nears 18, he hopes to pass his school exams and complete his education so that he can help support his siblings and the Matililas.