“I can only imagine” Abednego
Abednego is an extremely smart and tall 14 year old boy. In 2008 his father passed away and left him being the first born and his 3 siblings and his mother to fend for themselves. His mother was not formally employed and at that time Zimbabwe was facing economic hardships. Life became harder for his family, but his mother managed to get start money for a small fruit and vegetable market.
He continued going to school for the rest of 2008, but come 2009 Abednego dropped out of school because his mother could not afford the school fees anymore. He stayed at home helping his mother with house chores and selling fruits and vegetables on their little market. They managed to get money for rent and food from selling fruits and vegetables. This lifestyle went on for 4 years, but never a day passed without Abednego wishing he could go back to school and learn like other children of his age.
Abednego hoped to be a doctor one day, but by the way he stayed at home and not acquiring any education his wish was vanishing bit by bit. So he started playing soccer on his spare time, he also enjoyed soccer and had a passion for it. Playing soccer made him happy for it was the only thing that took him away from the thoughts of his poor background. Even though playing soccer whiled up his time, never a time passed without him imaging himself back to school. He always told his mother that if ever she got more money she should let him go back to school so that he learns, pass and become a doctor and one day take care of his siblings and his mother.
One day his mother was selling fruits and vegetables as usual when a customer asked her what her son was doing since she (customer) always saw him at the market even during school hours. The customer advised his mother to go to Chiedza Childcare Centre were vulnerable children learnt there for free. Abednego’s mother was also told about the accelerated learning program for the kids who would have dropped out of school. There was now hope for her son if what she had been told was true, so she went to Chiedza Childcare Centre immediately.
Abednego came back home from a soccer session and was told the good news that he was to go back to school, he could not believe this. God had answered his prayers and now he was going to make use of this opportunity and make it at school till he achieved his dream of becoming a doctor. Abednego could not wait to start school again, and when he started going to school it really changed his life. At Chiedza Childcare Center he’s learning how to read and write eligibly, computers, his rights and responsibilities, and he has access to a library were he can go and read or even borrow books, there is also a canteen were they eat breakfast and lunch, there is also a clinic if he’s sick and playing grounds were he continues to play soccer on his spare time. He even inquired about his siblings if they could come also and they were enrolled by Chiedza as well.
Abednego was not able to read fluently Shona and English so he was put in level 2 in 2013, then 2014 he proceeded to level 3 and he’s now able to read fluently and write eligibly. This year he will be going to a formal school and getting into grade 6 respectively. He now has a positive vision of his life:”I want to be a doctor one day,” he says. “I think if I work hard I will achieve my goals.”
I can imagine if there were no institutions like Chiedza Childcare Centre, how children in a situation like Abednego’s or worse do. Chiedza Childcare Centre provides a holistic psychosocial program to children in difficult living conditions. To help them have a normal childhood they offer educational assistance, a nutritious meal, health screening, assistance in birth registration, recreational activities, sporting activities as well as social teaching.