Celebrate International Day of the Girl on October 11

Barry Childs tells us Zinduna’s story

Zinduna lives in the small village of Mbeye. In 2003 both her parents died, leaving the four children orphaned. The village council proposed splitting the children up to live with close relatives.

Zinduna, who was 15 at the time and the eldest, objected to this idea. In order to keep the family together she became the head of the household caring for her brother and two younger sisters. She left primary school and started a small business selling fruit, vegetables, cooking oil and spices.

In 2005 she joined one of the early Africa Bridge co-ops. She says that “The experience of being a co-op member enabled me to increase the output of my land and to build a small shop for my business on the highway”. My vision was to help all my siblings to be well educated and to achieve their dreams”.

Despite the challenges of fluctuating costs of farm inputs, inclement weather and a robbery, Zinduna persisted and all the children, including Zinduna completed their education. She is now married with her own family.

With a little well aimed support it is remarkable what Zinduna has achieved. I am continually humbled by the actions of the children and adults in the villages where we work.