Hope Restored - Clementine's story

23-Mar-2020 | News | Petronella Chindumba

Clementina was born in 1955 in Luapula Province. She started her primary education right there in Luapula at one of the local community schools. Unfortunately, due to her parents facing financial challenges, Clementina dropped out of school in grade 5. At the age of 20, Clementina settled for marriage in which she was blessed with five children (3 girls and 2 boys).

 After 28 years in marriage, the cold hand of death struck the family with the death of her husband. This made her relocate to Zamtan in 2003. The loss of her husband made life become very difficult for her and her children as there was never enough food for the children to eat, and there was never enough money to pay for school and medical fees.

In 2008, the local community welfare structure assessed Clementina‘s family and recommended the family to be enrolled on the SOS Family Strengthening Programme. The family was clearly at the risk of separation as the children could not access the basic necessities of life. The priority areas of intervention for the family were food security, education, and health support and the programme supported the family according to their needs. 

Clementina’s three children, namely Linda, Dorcas, and Justine were supported to remain in school by SOS paying for their school fees and provided with other school requirements as the FS programme began to intervene in other areas such as economic empowerment in order to build the family’s resources. 

In the year 2014, the caregiver joined a Village Savings and Loans Group and she was able to make savings from the farming activity. Clementina was linked to the Cooperative for farmers in Zamtan community and was also provided with farming inputs (8 bags of fertilizers) by FS, farming being her major source of income. The farming inputs had contributed greatly to the family’s livelihood, especially food security. 

Justine successfully completed his grade twelve with 7 points (upper distinction) and he was selected to study for his Degree in Civil Engineering at the Copperbelt University. He was also awarded a government scholarship of 75 percent as per recommendation from SOS-FS. In 2019, Justin was in his third year of studies. With the support of Family Strengthening, his sisters Linda and Dorcas also completed their grade 12 education.

As a result of the economic empowerment, Clementina built two houses which the family planned to rent out. The caregiver was able to buy food and pay accommodation fees for Justine at the Copperbelt University. The family achieved self-reliance as a result of the interventions by the programme and was exited in December, 2018. During the post-exit follow ups in 2019, the family was still doing fine and the caregiver is still able to meet the basic needs of her children. 

Asked about how she feels about the support rendered to her by Family Strengthening, she said, “Ala mwandini ndetasha sana ba SOS pakupilibula ubwikashi bwandi na bana baandi” (I am very grateful to SOS for changing my life and that of my children for the better). She went on to say, “My Life has never been the same, all I can say is thank you very much”.

Petronella Chindumba
Brand and Communications