Madeline* is a 10-year-old girl living in Chilabula, a small village 30 kilometres from the town of Luanshya in Zambia. She moved there several years ago to live with her aunt when both of her parents passed away. Madeline is now in grade 2 and enjoys going to school. One day, she hopes to become a nurse so she can help people in need. When she is not at school, she enjoys playing games and collecting wild fruits with her friends.
On the surface, Madeline appears to be a normal, young, outgoing and friendly girl, but she has a heart-breaking story not uncommon in the poor villages of Zambia. She struggles with severe inner pain from her past. When Madeline’s mother was still alive she would often take Madeline to the local bar with her. One night, while Madeline was left alone at her house, her mother’s boyfriend snuck in and sexually abused her. In one night her spirit and body were broken. Madeline continues to suffer from poor physical health and emotional trauma due to this abuse. She has trouble sleeping because she is constantly having flashbacks. Maliciously, some people in her community even tease her, bringing a stigma around her and deepening her inner wounds.
Madeline’s aunt knew that her young niece, after being violently traumatised, could only be healed with an immense amount of love. She went to the Care Workers of Chilabula Community Based Organisation for help. Here, a group of volunteers from the local church are committed to caring for the most vulnerable children in Chilabula. These children are often the most broken, having suffered the physical and emotional wounds of living through poverty and loss. The Care Workers immediately provided what they could for Madeline’s physical needs: one meal a day, basic health care, soap, blankets, and a mosquito net. Madeline’s Care Worker, Selina, also visits her and her aunt regularly at home, and together they are walking the road towards bringing Madeline inner healing. It is a miracle that despite so many traumas, those who meet Madeline today see a bright and welcoming girl. Please pray that her healing will continue in every way.
*Child’s name has been changed