We first met Mulenga in 2008 during a visit to Zambia shortly after our program there started (see photo below). Living full-time at the Lukwipa Basic School in the Chongwe District of Lusaka, Mulenga and over 100 other young girls participate in Room to Read’s Girls' Education program that includes educational support and life skills training. When John Wood met up with Mulenga recently, she was still an active participant in our program and had just returned from an educational summer camp with her peers that was organized by Room to Read.Mulenga’s story speaks to the determination of young women who want to forge a life path different from past generations. Raising five children alone, Mulenga’s mother, who herself had only a few years of schooling, was forced to quit her job as a hairdresser because of severe asthma attacks. Without Room to Read’s assistance, Mulenga would likely be forced to also quit school and work to support the family.
Instead, Mulenga has taken a very active role in her education -- two years ago, she beamed with special pride when she told us about her work as a library assistant in the school library. She’s now two years away from taking her national exam, which she plans to ace so she can enroll in university next. As you will hear in her interview with John below, Mulenga would evenutally like to work in a bank, or perhaps she might even be the next staff member at Room to Read Zambia. Regardless, Mulenga is determined to finish school at the top of her class and we have total confidence that she'll succeed!