Name: Catherine Chaka
Reported birthdate: April 4, 2012 (age 7)
Favorite food: Nshima (a staple food in Zambia) and chicken
Favorite activity: Playing
Child is happy when... She is playing chef
Child wants to be a... Nurse
Home information: Catherine is growing up in the rural town of Luanshya in the Copperbelt Province of Zambia. She is a single orphan, having lost her father, and lives with her mother and four siblings. Catherine has three older brothers and one older sister. Her mother provides for their family through her small business of selling a food called chikanda on the streets. Still, it is hard for them to meet their basic needs and have enough to eat. When Catherine’s mother is unwell, she has an especially difficult time fending for the family, and they struggle with hunger and the payment of school fees for the children. Catherine helps at home by washing plates. Her most immediate need is education.
School information: Catherine has not previously been in school. With sponsorship, she will join the Haven of Hope Luanshya Primary School, starting grade 1 in January 2020. There, she will receive an education, learn about the love of God, and receive meals, medical care, and clothing. In Zambia, primary school lasts for seven years and is followed by five years of secondary school.
Community information: Haven of Hope's students live in a number of compounds (densely populated communities). Catherine’s family resides in the Mikomfwa compound in Luanshya. It is one of the most populous local areas, with high rates of unemployment and illiteracy. People in this compound primarily depend on menial jobs for survival—working, for example, as garden boys, maids, and small-scale farmers. Most families live in small mud houses. Families tend to be large, with a lot of children depending on unemployed parents, or on relatives in the absence of their parents. The compound has been greatly afflicted by HIV and AIDS, leaving most children without one or both of their biological parents. Alcoholism is also a problem in many households. Poverty has kept most families struggling to meet their basic needs and afford school fees for their children.
Prayer requests: Pray for Catherine’s family, and that she will have a brighter future.
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