Yokonia Mwale, Aged 24
December 20, 2006
HIV/AIDS is the biggest problem in Chipata because it has brought a lot of implications in many sectors – teaching, nursing…. Almost everyone is affected or infected in our country leaving children with no hope.
Orphanages have become rampant in our district due to HIV/AIDS, because of this, levels of illiteracy have gone high, child abuse, in particular the use of child labour has increased.
It is suspected that my mother died as a result of HIV. When she died my schooling was affected. I was in Grade ten but I managed to overcome many obstacles and support myself through to Grade twelve.
I am now head of my household supporting several children while they are in education. I hope to be able to afford to put myself through nursing school when I no longer have to give financial support to my siblings.
When my mother died I was emotionally, physically and psychologically ill. I had no where to start from. After I completed Grade 12 in 2001 I involved myself in health activities e.g. peer education, care giver, TB treatment supporter, malaria prevention and control and now I am trained psychosocial counsellor working as a volunteer at Kapata clinic and New Start centre. This has helped me a lot to cope with life.
Zambia has a large population, but few people know their rights (about 55% according to a recent survey) more especially women and children most of them are blank about their rights. Advocacy has to be put in place for every person to enjoy the being.