There have been a number of women who have
strived so hard throughout history to better the world. There
have been too many of them, and they all deserve the honor to be
recognized and to be seen as role model for other young women
I have known a lot of women in my life, but
three of the many have played a very important role in my life,
and they are the reasons I want to be one of the women who are
still willing to continue bettering the world. These three women
are women who came from different backgrounds and countries. All
they have in common is me, a child from a whole different
country and continent.
One of these three women is Sr. Canisia. Sr. Canisia came to
Zambia from Germany as a missionary nun of the Dominican
sisters. I met her in 1996 when I was four years old, and my
young sister was six months old. This was the time when my
One day my father came home looking sad. I
asked him where my mother was, and he told me, “Mommy is not
coming back home. She is gone forever,” I didn’t know what that
meant. Being the four- year- old child I was, I got excited and
asked him, “Do you mean never ever?” He said “Yes,” I went over
to my parents’ bedroom and said to myself, “Now here is a chance
for you to do everything Mummy would tell you not to do,” and I
started jumping on their bed, happy that Mum was not coming
back. I jumped and jumped, put on her clothes, played with her
makeup and did all she wouldn’t allow me to do. Poor me, I
didn’t know the meaning of “Mom is gone.”
Days went by and now I was really asking my
dad where my mom was, I started to miss her and wanted her so
bad, even though we all claimed that my mom was my older
sister’s best friend and I was my dad’s best friend, though this
was kind of true. My dad was my everything, I followed him
everywhere he went, his friends were my friends, and I wouldn’t
eat my meals if my father wasn’t home, so he made sure he came
home from work just so we could have our lunch together. But now
that my mother was gone, my father become a stranger to me. He
sat down quiet in his chair for the longest time imaginable. We
no longer laughed and play around together.
Soon after, my father got depressed, started
drinking, and we only saw him later in the evening. At four, I
become the mother to my six- months- old sister. My older sister
went leave with some aunt. I had to look for food to feed my
sister, bathe her, and carry her when she cried, and do
everything a four –year- old could do as a mother. It may sound
unbelievable but I tried my best and am sure I was the best
mother my sister could have ever come to know. She became my
everything, and it was just the two of us.
Later on, my father came back to himself, but
he had lost his job, and he was no longer able to take care of
my sister and me. My father asked his relatives for help, but
none of them were willing to lend a helping hand. All the
relatives we had when everything was fine had now become
strangers. None of them was anywhere to be seen, not even my
mother’s own sisters. My father went around seeking help. He
went from person to person and from church to church.
Finally God saw how much my father suffered,
and there was Sr. Canisia who came to our rescue and saved us.
Sr. Canisia took me and my young sister in and we lived with the
nuns for some time while she figured out what she could do for
us. All she ever wanted was to give us a home and hope for what
was best for us. She then found us a place to stay very far away
from our home town. She found us a place at Kasisi Children’s
Home, and there is where I met the second woman in my life who
became my mother.
At Kasisi Children’s Home I met Sr. Mariola.
Sr. Mariola is from Poland. She is in charge of the children’s
home and belongs to the congregation known as the Little
Servants of Mary. She left her country, her family and her home
just to come and be a mother to us orphans. With her we are no
longer orphans because she became the mother I will never have.
When Sr. Canisia took at us to Kasisi, we
were received with warmth and welcomed into the big family that
we found at Kasisi. Kaisis has about 250 children, from a few
weeks old upward, all from different backgrounds and parts of
the country. From 1996 until now Kasisi has been my home, and I
have brothers and sisters whom I would have not known otherwise.
We are a big happy family, and it is only at Kasisi that I
realized that we don’t choose our family; it is not whose blood
you carry but who you love and who loves you.
I grew up at Kasisi surrounded by many
children with different needs, some with more needs than others,
but that didn’t mean we were to be treated differently. Of
course it is not easy to provide each and every thing that an
individual child requires but we were all treated the same with
love and care. Sr. Mariola did and still does anything in her
power to get and do what is best for each child.
There will be no other woman I will ever know
who can manage to raise and be there for all 250 children. She
takes every single child to school, she makes sure we study and
get our education, she will never listen to any “I can’t do
school”. To her, school is one of the most important things in
life for one to have a good future and a life of his/her own.
She provided us with everything that was necessary for school
and our basic needs. From Kasisi, I learned to be content with
what I had, I learned to share and live with other people. I
learned to treat each individual fairly, I learned to love and
care for others, to help others, especially those who were
vulnerable and needed the most help. In Kasisi the babies need
the most help and I learned this.
When I was much younger, Sr. Mariola would
give us duties to help and care for the babies. We would think
it was a punishment and didn’t want to do it, but she made sure
we did it, little did I know that I was learning one of life’s
important things, like loving and caring. Now I am able to look
after babies and young children. I am gentle with them and care
for them like my own family, even children I don’t know. Now
people tell me am good with children and trust me with theirs. I
only have my mother, Sr.Mariola, to thank.
As a mother I learned a whole lot from Sr. Mariola, and I always
tell her this; when she thought I wasn't looking, I heard her
say a prayer, and I knew there was a God I could always talk to,
and I learnt to trust Him. When she thought I wasn't looking, I
saw her make a meal, and she took it to a sick child and to me,
when my stomach hurt. I learnt we have to help and care for each
other. When she thought I wasn't looking, I saw her give food to
the poor, and I learnt to help the needy.
When she thought I wasn't looking, I saw her
give food to our dogs, Fred and Maya and I learnt to be kind to
animals. When she thought, I wasn't looking I saw her put up
paintings of the boys (James and Jacob and the other children)
on the wall, and they immediately wanted to paint some more.
When she thought I wasn't looking, she made some nice soup for
me, and I learnt that the little things can be special in life.
When I thought I was right when I was actually wrong, she
scolded me and put me in my right place. She didn’t just tell us
what to do, but she did the thing she talked about, and I learnt
them from her because I saw her do them.
The biggest thing I learned is that children
will always do what you did when you thought they were not
watching. Sr. Mariola has been the best for me to watch and that
makes her the perfect mother I never had, and so I would love
her to know that “when you thought I wasn't looking I SAW!!”
When she gave us a home, I knew she loved us and I learnt that
everyone needs to be loved.
The third woman important in my life is Kerry Maguire. I met
Kerry in 2004 when she first came to Zambia with the dental
group. She came to Kasisi and provided free dental care for all
the children at the Children’s Home. Kerry goes to Zambia twice
a year, and not only does she provide dental care for the Kasisi
children, but she also goes to the remote area of Zambia called
Muchila village, where not even our own Zambian government has
been. Kerry also runs a non-profit organization known as Options
for Children in Zambia. She fundraises money and helps build
facilities in Muchila.
In 2004 Kerry asked Sr. Mariola if she could sponsor one child
from Kasisi, and Sr.Mariola suggested she sponsored me. Kerry
has sponsored me since then until now. When I finished my high
school, I was given the opportunity to come and do my college in
the United States if I wanted t. I thought that was a great
opportunity to take and that is how I came here in 2010 and
started my college here at Pine Manor College in the spring of
2011. Kerry is more than my sponsor; she is my American mother
and has given me a second home here. She treats me like her own
child, and there is nothing more I can ask for.
There are a lot of people that come into your life but only a
few have touched my heart, and they give me a reason to go on
each day. These three women have been there from my weakest
moment, and they never gave up on me. They did all they could
without being forced to help out a child they had no idea they
would ever know.
I chose to write my paper about them because they are the reason
that I am here today. I couldn’t imagine my life without any of
them. They have showed me that we can create family anywhere is
the wide world. If someone has been there for me all my life, I
am sure I can do the same for other people around the world. I
know I will not be able to change everyone’s life, but it would
count if I make a difference in someone else’s life. My dream is
to finish my education, have my own life, and be successful, so
I can go out in the world and help others; I want to be one of
the many women changing the world.