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Grace is a girl with a disability who could not talk or walk properly. She stays in Chibombo district. Her mother died in 2000 when she was just eleven years old. Before the death of her mother, all was well. The mother understood her child’s condition and was proud of her existence. She could take her out for leisure, buy her things and did everything possible that made her daughter very happy. As the saying goes, “no situation is permanent.” Immediately her mother died, the cruelty of the world downed on her.

Grace’s father remarried soon after her mum’s death. The intention of the father to remarry was prompted by the fact that his daughter needed someone to take care of her as a mother. However, the father’s thoughts were not the same as grace’s stepmother. The stepmother was so heartless to this poor soul such that she inflicted serious pain on her.

The stepmother rarely gave the girl food to eat, and she was not even allowed to eat from the same plate as other members of the family. She was given her own cups and plates to use. These utensils used by the girl were put separate from the others used by the rest of the family. The disability of this poor little girl was made to be a laughing matter by her stepmother together with her children.

Being fed-up with this kind of life, Grace thought the best way to escape this oppression was by running away from home. She eventually ran away from home and started living in the streets. On one particular day, as the girl was going around the streets begging for food and money to buy food, she met a charitable man. He interviewed her why she was begging around the streets instead of being in school. With tears in her eyes and challenges in speaking, she narrated her story to the man. The man felt pity for her and took her to his home and treated her like his own child. The girl was also taken to school. She is now at the university and doing very well.


Story by

Winnie Chomba