A different person

A different person

Edson is a Zambian child living in Mwandi, a small community on the outskirts of Livingstone, famous because of the Victoria Falls. A boy, restless, unruly, like almost everyone in childhood, who lives with his mother Mary, his father Victor and his brothers Mary, Victor and Ozas. The 6 of them share a small house in the heart of the community between dirt roads and large woodlands of the wild Zambian nature. His mother seamstress and his father, employed for the maintenance of a school, struggle to get his family along.

Edson and mary

Like any children in the neighborhood, Edson faces a complicated life in the community, where high unemployment leads to financial problems at home, and instability and lack of alternatives threatens the youth. Even so, with the innocence of age, Edson is happy, in the middle of nature, chasing birds, picking fruit from the trees or watching planes go by from the nearby airport.

Edson has no trouble remembering how he met Elena, one of the founders of KUBUKA, becausein contradistinction to other Mzungus (white people) who normally do a punctual job and leave, she continued coming back day after day. He can remember how they painted together, how he wrote letters and how he learned to use a camera. In the classrooms of the Mwandi Community School, the friendship between Edson and Elena began to forge.

edsonplaying

He finishes primary and Edson enters to secondary. A great step because, having the opportunity to study at this level is no longer available to everyone in Zambia. The Government is only committed to cover primary education and this is why at this point the families savings, external support or sponsorships are beginning to be key.

The child grows, becomes more aware of things and thinks, like his whole class, in his future, what will become of him. Now he is aware of the difficulties that the community faces, how difficult everyone says it is, and, thanks to their parents, the importance of education. Pressure builds as final high school exams approach, and if Edson wants the opportunity to make the decision for himself, he must do well.

edson

His goal is getting closer, to study computer science in the university, to learn everything he can about computers, to emancipate himself, to have a career and to improve his life and his family. And Edson, an awake boy who does not usually miss opportunities, passes his exams, and at the beginning of 2017 he leaves, with a backpack full of notebooks and dreams, to the capital city, Lusaka, to begin his classes and complete his studies to be, as himself states, «a different person.»

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