The following is a true story by a student in the orphanage, Bea Hasha, with assistance from a staff member, Sofiya Tambwe. Translation from Swahili to English by David Mtange.
My name is Bea Hasha, I was born in Kalundu village to the coast of lake Tanganyika. My father was a fisherman while my mother was a farmer, my mother was a 4th wife to my father. We survived eating fish and cassava that my mother was growing in her farm. We moved from Kalundu village to Iamba village in the reason of looking for a fertile soil where my mother could grow more cassava.
After a while we heard the news that the rebels had killed many people in a neighboring village, from that time my family decided to move from Iamba to Swima village where we directly went into the bush to hide ourselves. After a week my father decided to return to Kalundu village where he left his 3 other wives, my mom and I left in Swima bush.
Later my mom got very ill while being in our hiding place, she was having regular diarrhea and coughing, in the bush she was always treating herself using traditional medications as there was no medications or hospitals in the Swima bush.
It came one day when a neighbor came to take me from our tent to her tent where I spent a night with her 2 daughters, from that time she left us in her tent with her husband and she went to sleep into our tent with my mom who was so ill laying herself on a carpet, on the following day, other 2 ladies joined her to sleep in our tent caring for my mom who was so ill.
3 days later one of the ladies came into a tent where I was staying telling me that my mom died. From that time I cried asking her if she could allow me to go with her so that I could see my mom, she rejected my request and then she asked 2 young man to take me into a small boat to Kalundu village where my father was living with his 3 wives.
When I arrived in our village I found my father was not there anymore , when I kept asking for my father, a young boy neighbor came to me saying that my father died, he was stoned by the mob. I stayed with my father’s wife longtime without telling me the reason why my father was stoned, until in the orphanage where aunty JOJO told me that my father was found raping.
While living with my father’s wife; she hated me a lot, insulting me each time saying that I was HIV positive, she was separating me not to sleep closer to her children, I was given food separately with others, she did not want me to share with her children at the same table. It came a time when she made me to sleep 2 days without eating from that time I couldn’t wait, until I decided to run away up to the street where I started begging from people for me to survive.
It came a day when I got so ill on the street, on that day, my street fellows covered me with a blanket under a shadow of tree, at that time when aunty JOJO was passing along the street she found me covered, when she touched me she immediately felt that my fever temperature was so high. She phoned at the orphanage where Hosea came with a motorbike to pick me up to the orphanage where they give medications, food, and later they led me to a room where I slept with other girls.
My mom was a Christian. She taught me to pray, she led me to the church where I was taught that Jesus is the savior of children and that He loves children, but during my being on the street, I forgotten whatever my mom and my Sunday school teacher told me, from that time I started robbing and fighting with others.
It came one morning at our orphanage when TATE Julienne was teaching during the Morning Prayer meeting, at that time, she asked, whoever feels to repent whatever sin that she may have committed in the past to raise up her hand and to stand so that she could pray for us for God to forgive us, from that time I stood up together with Nyemya and she prayed for us both.
In every morning I do pray God to forgive me and to accept me; we are also taught daily to forgive others. I love my friends here at the orphanage and my roommates.
I thank God for Oceanside church for supporting me to my School, on the first time when I entered the class I heard my teacher telling Grand David that I was 2 years late with my school but thank God I am working hard to pass to the next class and hope that a will achieve my vision of working in a charity organization.
I am now doing my first term exam, my prayer is that I will pass to the next class. God bless my sponsors.