Many years ago now Esther, Grace and Obert told their stories to millions of viewers. Their lives changed overnight. Like many others, we were inspired by them and started a journey which has changed us too and over 5,000 children who benefit from our programmes. As they grow up and forge their own paths – we look at how their stories changed the lives of other children.
Obert - Before
Obert was widely known in his area for being one of the most intelligent boys in the school. Obert is acutely aware of what an education can do for him when he says… “As a child I don’t think children should be chased away from school. The law that means children are sent home is bad, we should just be able to learn…
Esther - Before
Nine year old Esther looked after her two year old sister and her dying mother. Attending school was a dream far out of her reach since they both depended on her solely. She tells us of the hopelessness of her life when her mother dies – “I told her when she dies I will get into the grave with her.
Grace - Before
Grace lives with her younger sister and father in a township just outside of Harare. Grace and her sister are sent home from school. She explains “If I cannot go to school, I won’t have a good life, because I won’t have had an education”. Their father felt completely helpless in trying to provide for his two young daughters.
Obert - After
Obert passed the difficult entrance exam into a top boarding school. He worked hard and achieved very good grades – having many proud moments. Every school holidays Obert would return home to spend time with his proud grandmother (Gogo) and friends. Obert continued with his schooling right through to A'level when he returned back to a new home.
Esther - After
After their mother died, and they were left in the care of their abusive uncle, we stepped in and managed to secure a family home for Esther and Tino. Having the comfort of a caring guardian meant that Esther was relieved of the burden of looking after her little sister. She started school again and has become a happy and cheerful child, thriving in her new enviornment.
Grace - After
Sadly, Grace and Michelle's father died not long after but they continued to lived in their father's extended family home. Both girls went back to school and received better nutrition along with counselling to help them through the previous few years. Grace continued onto College where she completed an 'Early Childhood Development' course to work as a nursery teacher.
Thank you Obert
Obert's story highlighted the food challenges of children in isolated rural areas and schools sending children home for non-payment of a small fee. Of all the stories we believe Obert's has seen the most change to children within Zimbabwe. We've worked hard to give children free access back into school and reach over 5,000 more children within his old school community. During the development of Obert's school we have created programs we believe will bring relief and the most beneficial, sustainable outcome for their education and health. Obert is an adult now; he has completed his school life and now lives near extended family. Thank you for telling your story Obert.
Thank you Esther
Esther's angelic voice and eloquently told story touched the hearts of so many. With the help of many people she started a wonderful new life with her little sister after her mother sadly died. However Esther's story did not only change her fate, it opened the door to millions of children throughout Africa. A large NGO had, for the first time, film footage of the life of a child before and after which attracted large donors who fund their work throughout Africa. At the same time Comic Relief in the UK used their story to show the reality of children's lives in some parts of Africa. Donations came pouring in and hundreds of thousands benefitted. Thank you for telling your story Esther.
Thank you Grace
Grace shone the light on how difficult it is for girls living in townships, which we could not ignore. With your support we created a program within a large township assisting grandmothers, single mothers and teenage girls to access education, food and small business start-ups using dormant skills such as dress making and hair dressing. The programme gave young girls the chance to fend for themselves rather than be married off at a young age. Many girls have Grace to thank for telling her story so bravely. Grace is now an adult and has finished her education along with her younger sister Michelle who has started a new life with her family. Thank you for telling your story Grace.
Esther, Obert and Grace have definitely done their bit for humanity and are very keen to move forward with their lives, which is only fair. We thank them for telling their stories; we thank you for your generosity – it is only through all of you that we are able to reach and change the lives of Zimbabwe and Africa’s beautiful children. Please continue to support our work, we cannot do it without you.