Meet Bertha…

Bertha is a graduate from the community school at Village of Hope – Kitwe and now she works on site as a receptionist in the office. Bertha was kind enough to answer some questions to share how she ended up at Village of Hope and how it has changed her life.

How did you find out about village of Hope?

I found out about village of hope through my friend Hazel, who was a student there at the time. She explained to me what village of Hope was all about.
I was very interested and I asked her if she could find a place in school for me. She introduced me to the principal and explained my problem of not having money to pay school fees that you have to pay at the government schools. It was not long before I was accepted , to me it was a great blessing  after having to drop out  for three years because my family didn’t have the money to pay government school fees.  I couldn’t believe that i can be learning for free , being given books, clothes and shoes for free, it was a blessing to my family and I.
How has village of Hope helped you?
Village of Hope has really helped me in many ways to be precise:  Spiritually, emotionally and physically. I am what I am today because of Village of Hope through the help that have been receiving ever since I came. They have helped  me to become an independent contributing member of the society through the youth empowerment program that, after graduating, taught me many skills such as spiritual formation , Gardening , block making , chicken raising and computer lessons.  After completing the Youth Empowerment Program Village of Hope gave me a job as receptionist and the computer skills I had learned really helped me. I thank GOD every day for blessing  me  with a good Job at this place, I am working in the office, I love my job and it is a blessing to my family.
What is your Testimony?
Life became challenging and meaningless when I lost my beloved ones. It was in the year 2007 in November on 17th, when i first lost my sister two days before her birthday.  It was very terrible for our family, we felt empty and with so much sorrow in our hearts.   Two weeks later, my mother died of depression. I was traumatized, depressed, confused and completely hopeless.
My mother was a strong woman and hard working too. She strived and sacrificed a lot for the benefit of our family.  When she died, I had to take over the responsibilities that my mother left. I am now looking after my four siblings, three girls and 1 boy.  It is not easy to manage a home when one is not ready for it. Our home is now a youth headed home, at first I  used to cry a lot when I thought about what I was going through and that I didn’t have enough knowledge on how to raise children and other related responsibilities.
It is very sad when one of my siblings falls sick. It disturbs me a lot and that’s when i think of my mother to come in and help but, its not possible, it is horrible to lose two people in the same year.
In February 2008, my sister Miriam, the third born in our family, was raped by five men when coming from kwacha compound were she went to visit my auntie. It was a painful experience that I had to go through again.  I had so much fear that may be she has been infected with H.I.V./ Aids or been impregnated.   To say the truth, I was very hopeless for I didn’t know why Satan had to continue bringing more harsh problems to my family when we still had terrible problems at hand.
God always makes a way where it seems no way.  When the people at Village of Hope heard what had happened to my sister, they arranged for her to receive medical care and counselling and today my sister is doing very well.
I thank God for blessing me with this wonderful family that I belong to at Village of Hope. On my own, I could not have pulled through but, the office staff, the house mothers and aunties have been of great help to me by encouraging me and praying for me and their prayers have changed things in my family and even the village of hope children have shown me great love through difficult times.
I thank God for Bringing me to village of hope and for blessing me with a good Job which is helping me to care for the family that I am now responsible for. My coming to village of Hope is for a purpose that God provided for me. I have found joy; and I have found a great family of mothers, and sisters and brothers here.
Indeed God has made a way for me where I thought they will be no way for me.