Freedom Challenge’s Director Tracy Daugherty is in Zambia this week so we wanted to tell you a little about how your support is making a difference in this country, reuniting vulnerable young girls with their families and giving them the chance to get a good education and discover their potential. This is Nessa’s story…
On a grey rainy day, Isaac, a teacher from a Freedom Challenge project in Zambia, found a young girl lying on the side of a road, covered in dirt. She was weak and disoriented and appeared to be in shock. She had clearly suffered some kind of trauma but couldn’t explain where she was or what had happened.
Isaac was shocked by the sight of the girl; then he realized he knew her – it was Nessa*, a 13-year-old girl who’d been missing from her home and school for four months. Nessa was known to many of the Freedom Challenge project staff in Kabwe. As a child she’d suffered severe injuries during a fire, including burns to her head which had left her with a slight mental disability. She also had a tendency to wander and would then struggle to find her way home.
Upset by Nessa’s condition but relieved to have found her, Isaac took her to the project base for some much-needed care. Ketty, the manager of the base kitchen, stepped in to tend to Nessa; bathing her, providing her with clean clothes and giving her something to eat.
The staff were concerned that Nessa had been sexually abused. A quick check-up with the doctor revealed that she had malaria; the fever had caused her to faint next to the road. The doctor gave her medication and happily reported that Nessa was not HIV positive.
A heart-warming reunion
Karen, one of the counselors at the project offered to take Nessa home. On the way, Nessa asked if they could fetch her belongings from the market. This is when Karen realised that during Nessa’s time away from home she was likely forced into prostitution. When they reached Nessa’s home village, Nessa’s mother was in awe at the return of her lost daughter. It was a heart-warming reunion.
Nessa is now back in school and only leaves the house with a companion.
Without this Freedom Challenge project in Zambia, Nessa may never have made it back home. But now, thankfully, she is receiving counseling with Karen and is learning how to move forward after such a difficult start to her life.
All of this is only possible with your support – your gifts are essential to enable these projects to keep going and to keep caring for children who are in such desperate need of security and protection.
Thank you for the difference you are making to girls like Nessa!
$150 sets one woman or child on the path to freedom.