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Happy Little Angels

2011 VOF WK2
I walk to work every day. By doing this, I save money and exercise at the same time! It’s not a very long walk, about 30 minutes in all. I’ve been doing this since February this year, every day of the week.
My route takes me past houses, little grocery shops called ‘ntembas’ sticking out of every other house. I see women with baskets on their heads, having just come from ordering their fruits and vegetables from Soweto Market. I walk past little children going to school, and other children playing in the road. A lot of busy women and children, going about their work and play.
I walk past a bar along my route. I am not sure what time it opens in the morning, or if it ever closes at all. This is where I find the men, sitting around, drinking, telling stories, and basically just looking unconcerned and not bothered about anything at all. They stopped catcalling a while ago, I always ignore them.
These men annoy me. I am always thinking that these men are fathers, brothers, grandfathers, uncles that should be out there working to help their partners and other relations with the children. In my country, a man can choose whether he pays child support or not. If he is taken to court, he can simply tell the judge that he doesn’t have a job and is unable to look after his children, and that will be it! These are the men found at bars from Monday to Monday, leaving the mothers, grandmothers, aunties, sisters and so on, to raise children on their own.
I decided to do some research on Child Support and Maintenance in Zambia. During my free time, I walked to Afya Mzuri, a resource center that offers among other things, free internet. There, I happened across a magazine called Young Women First, Issue 1, 2011. In it I found a lot of interesting articles, but what caught my eye was page 10, where I found a ‘solution’ so to speak. It was suggesting sites that help people like me start my own blog, and generally have an opportunity to voice my opinion and be a voice for the many women that are suffering alone to bring up their children while the men are not bothered about their responsibilities, and how the system allows them to go scot free! I zeroed in on World Pulse, this is what the caption under it said.
‘…….New ideas and solutions rise from the ground up as women speak out from every corner of the globe and the World Pulse editors are always active on the site, looking for new and untold stories. When fresh stories surface, World Pulse investigates further and commissions stories for their online and print magazines.’
I went to the site and signed up immediately! My personal vision is to see a Zambia with proper and enforceable Child Support and Maintenance Laws. Children are our future, and through ‘Voices of Our Future’, I can do my part to help the little angels.

Comments

ck's picture

clear vision

Hi Mwape,

Your story is very good and your vision clear! I hope that you reach your goal. Men should help their families, though sadly, I've not been anyplace where they do their fair share, even when forced to make support payments by the government.

One happy story about a different solution - the Naxi women (this is many years ago) in the far west of China decided it was okay with them if their husbands smoked opium all the time (which they did), because it gave them a chance to start and run businesses without interference. Their area was on a trade route, so some of the women became very well off, and all of them were in charge of their families.

For the rest of us, your solution is much more practical. Good luck to you!

Carol

ck

ck's picture

whoops

I just used the word count tool and found your essay has 510. Be sure next time to use it yourself, so you stay under the required 500!

ck

Linda M. Ando's picture

A Woman on a Mission for Change!

Dear Mwape,

What a joy to walk with you to work, as you described the daily activities of women providing food and livelihood for their families. I also felt your heavy heart as you walked past the men, passing time away. It's hard to witness the inequity and lack of legal recourse for fathers who do not pay for child support.

Bravo for raising your voice and advocating for all the women and children who struggle everyday. Together you can make a change, angel voices and angel wings rise above injustice! Thank you for your passion and dedication for the little angels!

With Gratitude,

Linda M. Ando

Angela Kintu's picture

I love your story

Mwape,

your story and your walk is so real - unfortunately more real than I would have liked in our fragile society. Children need protecting and yet more and more people think they can just have them and leave them without consequence. Children are a cause close to my heart as well and I wish you all the best in being a voice for change for the little Angels in your country.

Thank you for sharing

Angela

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