Little lucky Choolwe
Article by Teresa Shelleni, Grade 3 teaching assistant.
Hi, my name is Teresa. The name of the baby I am holding is Choolwe. The meaning of her name is ‘Lucky’. I named her after the experience of giving birth to her here in Zambia. This is my story.
On the night of the 13th August 2009 I was taken to the hospital to deliver my twins. When I reached the hospital there was no help available. I was examined quickly and told to wait in the maternity ward. When it was time for the delivery I went to go and look for the nurses on duty. When I reached the nurses room I found that they were all asleep. I knocked and knocked but there was no answer. I knew the babies were really coming by this time (I already have 5 children) so I rushed myself to the delivery room and gave birth to the first baby by myself. Then the nurses were woken by the cry of the baby. They entered the delivery room, not concerned at all about what was going on and proceeded to examine me. They then told me the remaining baby was breech and that they were going to do a forced labour. They made me try to push but I didn’t want them too, I knew it was wrong and that I needed to have the baby taken by C section. But I felt forced, the baby only showed one little hand. I was told I would now have to go to theatre to deliver the baby but I had to wait for the surgeon and it was a long time, over an hour. My second baby died. I was told she was just too tired.
I was admitted for 6 days. During my stay I saw many mothers delivering babies being treated badly. Three babies including my one died during that stay and all due to nurse’s negligence. One night a lady was admitted to the delivery ward and given the bed next to mine, we were the only two in the ward. When it was her time she went to look for the nurses on duty. They came and examined her and told her to go back to bed as she was still some way off. When she came back I asked her how she was feeling and she said the baby is coming now. I had no choice but to help her deliver, something I had never done before. After we had delivered her baby the nurses came. Her baby survived but everyday our babies are dying unnecessarily due to negligence in hospitals.
Thank you for listening to my story.
Unfortunately Teresa’s story is not uncommon. Basic health care can be very hard to come by; childbirth is always risky and twin deliveries even more so. At the school we have a medical fund to help the students and staff with emergency situations. Sadly, sometimes the treatments necessary are out of our grasp. If you would like to help and donate to the medical fund,
click here or to find out more please
heads to South Africa
One of our Grade 7 students, Everisto Chabalanda, started an amazing new adventure in September, moving to South Africa to study at Kingswood College. Having always been top of his class by quite some distance and being an award winning actor in National competitions it was clear that Everisto had something quite special. Starting school at the age of 9 and excelling in all his subjects we didn’t want him to end up at a secondary school that wouldn’t push him and help him explore his incredible potential. It was then that we took him to visit Kingswood College in South Africa to see if he liked the idea of a boarding school outside of Zambia and also to have some tests to asses his academic and emotional ability to cope with such a move.
Everisto did fantastically and it was decided that he should start Kingswood in Grade 9! Quickly moving into G10 in January! We were obviously very concerned about his ability to catch up but 4 months later, he is back at home for the holidays and doing amazingly well at school. In his first term alone he has managed to start the huge task of making up 2 years of school, won a silver medal in his first cross country race ever, got three wickets in his first cricket match and came no.1 in his in-house Pop-Idol competition.
Everisto would like to thank his sponsors (The Graham Beck Foundation and Susan Sarandon) for all the amazing support they have shown him and he promises to work incredibly hard.
If you would like to know more about Everisto,
his family and home, just click
here where you can download the brilliant 10 minute documentary
'A day in 3 lives'.
“I would run out of words to thank you for all you've done for my life. I shall utilize your efforts and your time you've dedicated to helping me. I will do to the best of my ability not to waste all that you've done for me.”