From the Tobacco Fields to High School

Zambia teacher_success_storyGeorge was orphaned at the age of eight. In Grade 5, he moved to live with his aunt, but life was tough, as he was not given any time to rest. He would report for school after one month with only a quarter of the school fees and then he would fail tests and exams because he missed a lot of lessons.

He was always late and always tired. “Many times I just wanted to stop school because I used to fail. I loved school so much but I had no one to help me,” he said.

The desire to get an education drove him to the tobacco farms to work with the hope of raising enough money for school fees. But this proved futile as he was working 12 hours non-stop in the tobacco fields, only to be paid an equivalent of $1.50 for one week’s work.

He used to save the little he made to pay the school fees whenever he had an opportunity to go back to school. Later George moved to his grandmother’s house with a hope of a better life, but his grandmother died shortly afterward. This left him homeless.

Then a teacher spotted his determination and connected him to the ECLT Project. When George passed his Grade 7 exam he was selected for the ECLT Foundation scholarship programme.

When he got the scholarship, he said, “I never knew I would reach Grade 12. I promise my sponsors that I will work very hard and pass my exams.” Since then he’s gone on to graduate.

“I can’t just struggle from the time my parents died up to now for nothing! I would like to become an accountant or an engineer. I am so thankful to ECLT because without them I wouldn’t have made it this far.”