Imagine lying on a dirt floor with no mattress, in a one room house with no electricity, no running water, and no food, while flies buzz around your head and ants crawl across your limp limbs. As if this doesn’t sound bad enough, this has been happening your entire life.
This is a piece of Gift’s story, a 13-year-old girl we met in a nearby compound not too long ago. Gift is disabled, and she cannot move or talk. She has a mother and father who do their best to care for her, but they are extremely poor and struggle to find food, let alone get her the medical attention she needs. After visiting her family, we knew we had to do something – anything – to improve her living conditions and help her stay as healthy as possible.
Just a few weeks later, a construction team from North America came to Zambia and quickly undertook the project of updating Gift’s home. By the end of their 2 week stay, Gift had her own room with a bed, a door wide enough for a wheelchair to get through, and her family had a solar panel installed on the roof to provide electricity. Still, Gift was in need of more assistance; she needed someone who would be able to bathe her, feed her, and lift her easily. As her parents age, these tasks become more and more difficult. Thankfully, we were able to hire a local woman named Natasha, who was in need of a job. We knew Natasha because she is the older sister of one of our current students. Today, Gift is being consistently fed, bathed, and taken care of in her updated home. We are grateful to God who showed us this need and for our volunteers who so willingly devoted their time to helping.
*The names in this story have been changed to protect privacy