Child Profiles - "Telling Our Stories"

The following narratives were written by children who have attended and been helped by the Kondwa Day Center. The narratives were written by the children as part of a counseling workshop that helped the children to deal with loss, grief and transition.

These memories of their parents are powerful testaments to the children's courage and on- going struggles. They challenge us to raise our awareness of the HIV/AIDS pandemic and it's devastating effect on families and communities.

George (© 2003 James Howlett)'
George Musanje
Fisyani (© 2003 James Howlett)
Fisyani Ngulube
Siyanga (© 2003 James Howlett)
Siyanga Mzoka
Elizabeth (© 2003 James Howlett)
Elizabeth Chaanga

The "Telling Our Stories" project aptly describes the necessity of such workshops:

The HIV/AIDS pandemic has had a devastating effect on families in Zambia. The
number of orphans is growing daily. Many of these children live in the poorest
households and do not have access to adequate shelter, food, health care and education. Under the most difficult circumstances, many families are struggling to provide for increasing numbers of orphaned children in their homes.

Children are suffering on both economic and emotional levels. This suffering begins long before parents actually die and continues long afterwards. Some children not only lose their parents but also may eventually lose their siblings, their homes and perhaps, most tragically, their contact with extended families. Children are increasingly traumatized by this new phenomenon of multiple loss and they need both psychosocial and material support.