Melody is a 16 year-old orphan living in Magandanyama shanty compound on the outskirts of Kabwe. Her mother, Twas a patient of Makululu Home Based Care until she died on the 23rd of November 2003. At the young age of 11, Melody was left to look after her 2 little sisters and 3 brothers. Although forced to drop out of school to find work in order to survive, the earning was not enough to buy food and other needs.
In January 2007, Melody began selling her body on the street and became deeply involved with friends who were a bad influence on her. But when she became bedridden by TB in 2008, the team of childcare workers from Makululu HBC were there to support her with visits, helping her with things such as buying charcoal, mealie meal, relish, washing plates, fetching water, cooking her food, and bathing her daily. During this time they encouraged her with the Word of God and led her to accept Jesus as her personal Savior. After a few months, Melody’s health improved and she was able to start selling vegetables on the roadside instead of returning to her old life of sacrificing her body for money. But it wasn’t enough for her and her brothers and sisters to live on, and during one of the home visits in August 2008 the childcare workers learned that Melody was pregnant. She admitted to them that a man had come to her promising marriage and money to support her and her family and she had given in. It wasn’t long before he had abandoned her, leaving her pregnant and even more vulnerable than she was to begin with. She was just 15 years of age.
On the 7th of April 2009, Tour d’ Afrique, donated 59 Zambikes to Kabwe home based care which is the umbrella NGO for several home based cares in the area; 10 of which were distributed to Makululu HBC. On the 16th, just over a week after receiving the Zambikes, the childcare workers were doing home visits when they found Melody in labor at home alone with no one to assist her. They packed the girl and her things on 2 Zambikes and transported them to Kabwe General Hospital. Melody gave birth to a baby girl, and the next day they were discharged. The childcare workers transported Melody and her new baby girl back home on the Zambikes and have continued to visit and assist her in caring for the baby.
Tour d'Afrique Ltd., named for its flagship cycling tour, annually traverses the African continent from Cairo to Cape Town, since its birth in 2003. Learn more about them on: http://www.tourdafrique.com/