Clementina is an orphan carer living in Manungu compound in Monze town. Like many older people in Zambia, Clementina found herself as the sole carer for her grandchildren when her own children died. She now cares for a total of seven orphans, all under the age of 18 years old, as well as her two biological children who are in their late teens.

“Me, my way of living is not comfortable. I’ve got so many orphans to look after sometimes I even fail to feed them. Even sleeping is a problem – the house is just too small. We have to squeeze when we sleep.

I am a widow and live with seven orphans as well as my two children. One of the orphans came to live with me when she was just a baby. I took her in after my sister died. The rest of the orphans are my grandchildren. They came to live with me when their parents died as they had nowhere else to go. All the orphans are school age so it is a big challenge to pay their school fees. Often they have to stay at home until I can find the money.

I do piece work to try to clothe and feed them. Like in the rainy season I work in other people’s fields. I brew and sell beer at my house to try to make an income. It is difficult. I struggle. I have to accept my situation though because it is what I have” – Clementina.

Clementina met Brighter Futures Zambia through The Buntolo Orphan Carers Group, and this is how she found sponsorship for her eldest grandson, Felix. Although Clementina’s life is far from comfortable, knowing that Felix will finish his education is a great comfort, reduces the burden on the rest of the household and means a brighter future.