Monday, July 25, 2011

Meet Siphiwe...

Siphiwe is 11 years old, is in grade 5 and lives in Kenyama.  She does not go to school all os the time but goes to Njtashi when she ia able to pay her school fees.  Her parents are divorced and her father is remarried and abandoned her.  When Siphiwe was a baby her father had two wives, she was very malnourished and her birth mother, who is a drunkard, left her lying naked on the couch and abandoned her.  The father’s second wife began taking care of her. She was ‘witched’ by her mother’s family because she would not return to her drunkard mother and her stepmother took her to her church and her prayed for.  She likes going to church.  She feels loved by her step-mother and feels sad when people insult her. Her stepmother cannot pay her school fees all of the time and does piece work to wash clothes and then use the money to buy vegetables for $1 and then ask Siphiwe to try and sell them in the market.  If she is able to sell them then they will have money to buy food or clothes sometimes. She only goes to school 2-3 hours a day about 5 days a month.  There are 6 children in her family and she is fourth born.  Siphiwe sleeps on the floor in her stepmother’s bedroom and eats one meal a day.  Siphiwe and her two of her step-brothers (ages 12 and 6) walked to the village (which is several hours away) together by themselves to sleep on the kitchen floor of one of her stepbrother’s father’s house to grow maize during the rainy season.  She desperately needs to be sponsored so that she may go to school and break the cycle of poverty in her life.

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