Would you like to hear my story? I’ll be happy to tell you.
I am Madeleine Kasiba, I am 13 years old and the third oldest in our family. I was born with a weak hip, which is why I have a walking disability. This is sometimes hard for me because I can’t run and jump like the other children and often have to rely on help. But I have accepted this for myself: I am the way I am.
Unfortunately, I experience stigmatisation again and again, and I suffer the most when it comes from my own family. Especially the discrimination when it comes to whether I am allowed to be educated or not.
I always stay at home to look after the house and my younger siblings. Some of my siblings and my father didn’t want me to go to school either. But I wanted to go to school like other children my age. Fortunately, my mother always insisted that I should go to school too. So I was enrolled in a school near our house, called EP MASANGANO. The headmistress liked me very much. The school fees were a recurring topic in my family. My parents sometimes had difficulties paying the fees. Very often I was afraid that I would be taken out of school because of this.
When I was in fourth grade, we got in touch with Mr. Hansen Kaseke, the director of Tree for Hope and Life. He brought us school materials and paid the school fees for 25 children who, like me, came from families that were very poor and could not pay the money themselves. Since that day, the fear is gone and I could learn again freely and with the joy I always had! I was able to finish primary school without paying a penny. Today I attend secondary school in the seventh grade. I will continue as long as I have the opportunity and the support I need. I will one day become either an obstetrician or a computer specialist to help others like me be useful in the community. My thanks go to the friends and donors locally and in Germany who make it possible for us to learn and realise our childhood dreams.