When Beauty Phiri’s mother died of AIDS, her father abandoned her and her sister, and the devastated children were split among separate caregivers. Beauty went to live with her elderly grandmother while her sister went to live with another family. Beauty rarely sees her sister anymore.
Sadly, Beauty’s plight is common in Zambia and other African countries where the HIV/AIDS pandemic has practically wiped out an entire adult generation. As a result these deaths, countless children live with elderly grandparents, extended relatives, neighbors — or on their own. Many grow up destitute. Some are exploited. Almost all face a lifetime of struggle.
In Zambia, it’s difficult for these orphaned children to finish school because their focus is on daily survival. Those who are able to complete free grade schools are rarely able to continue on to high school because fees are required. It’s also a challenge to come up with school uniforms and supplies.
Thanks to your help, however, Grace Ministries has been able to send 70 orphaned Zambian children to school – including 14-year-old Beauty. She is now in her first year of high school. Beauty’s destitute grandmother confirms that the Cross International scholarship made the difference. It gave the girl this opportunity to attend school.
Like all of the scholarship students, Grace Ministries has placed Beauty on the national health insurance program. She is also among the 30 neediest students who receive food staples to supplement their diets.
Along with the scholarship, health care and food, Beauty receives regular visits from Veronica, a volunteer with Grace Ministries. Veronica checks on Beauty’s well-being, prays with her, counsels her and has been able to give her access to other social services provided by Grace Ministries to meet immediate needs. Beauty’s long-term success, however, is bolstered by a solid educational foundation made possible through the scholarship our donors helped provide. She is very grateful!