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Tsungirirai’s story

Tsungirirai’s storyI am Tsungirirai. I come from a family of three children — two girls and a boy. I am a girl and the last born. Both of my parents have passed away. My father was the first to die and he left me when I was in grade 4.

My father’s relatives did not take care of me, my mother and my brother and sister. My sister was married off to someone. My mother was sent back to her parents but there was nobody because both of them had passed away. I was told to go with my mother. When I was in grade 6 my mother died and she left me with her younger sister. She paid my school fees until I finished grade 7. I did well but she could not afford to pay for secondary education and for a few years I stayed at home and did the cooking, planting and some cleaning.

Then the headmaster at my old school said he was going to ask Mrs Schimper [Ezelle Schimper who runs Lirhanzo Children’s Village] if there was any way she could find someone to help with my school fees. Through Aid for Africa Down Under (AFADU) she was able to find sponsors, for whom I am very grateful. Because I had not been to school for a while, I repeated grade 7 and I did well again. Mrs Schimper said my sponsors would also support me through my secondary education. Now I have finished Form 4 and I am in Form 5 waiting for my ‘O’ Level results. (These tests are required in order to graduate from high school in Zimbabwe.) I am not yet sure what I want to do next but I am very grateful to have an education. I see my friends that did not go to secondary school and many of them married very young. They do not seem to have the options I have. I think I will work for a while and then maybe do some more training or education. I am so fortunate because I have a chance to do these things in life!