Posted on October 25, 2016
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Meet Zambian medical student Liness Mulenga
The 18 year anniversary of Croydon-based charity, African Child Trust (ACT), provided the opportunity to invite ACT sponsored child, Liness Mulenga, to travel from Zambia as ‘special guest’, to participate in the anniversary celebrations. The biennial event took place on Saturday 8th October at New Life, Croydon and was attended by former Croydon Mayor, Patricia Hay-Justice and some African ambassadors and other dignitaries.
Coming to the UK and visiting the sights of London has been a special experience for Liness. Not even the cold and grey autumn weather could dampen her enthusiasm and excitement to see and learn about the country she had hoped that one day she may have the opportunity to visit.
It all came as a shock when she received a phone call from the UK in April asking if it would be possible for her to come to the UK to attend the ACT anniversary event in October. “I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, I shouted so much my mother rushed from her room to find out what was the matter, but then she saw me with a big smile dancing around the living room”. In my excitement, I had forgotten that the caller was still on the line waiting for my answer.
Liness who recently turned 21 years old has been supported by ACT since she was only 5 years old, shortly after her father died. The youngest of seven children, she grew up in the small town of Mufulira in the Copperbelt region of Zambia and 10 kilometres to the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. Her father was a local church minister and his death caused tremendous hardship for the family. Her mother, Sarah and her seven children (Liness is the youngest) had to move out of the church house to a small flat where they shared facilities with other neighbours. Her mother had no job and there was no financial support from the state. Like many widows in rural Africa, she struggled to pay school fees for her children. ACT has supported the education of Liness and her older brother, Martin since 2001.
Liness is in the third year at Cresoe University, Lusaka where she is studying medicine. She will sit her exams for the diploma in clinical medicine in June next year and hopes to continue immediately to the 3 year degree course, specialising in obstetrics and gynaecology.
For Liness, who had never travelled outside of Zambia, coming to the UK has been an experience she never thought she would have. The trip has given her exposure to a new country and culture, and it gave ACT supporters at the Biennial event the opportunity to meet someone who had first-hand experience of the work of ACT. She sees her good fortune of being supported by ACT as an opportunity to give back when the time is right.
“In the future when I am working I hope to be able to sponsor other children through their education the way that ACT has supported me. If God sees what I am doing to help others I hope he will bless me so I am able to help even more people”
Read more about ACT’s work in Zambia.
You can sponsor a child with ACT Today click here.