Stories

I am living my dream

Phanny is a supervisor at Autoworld – a company which sells an extensive range of automotive, marine and lifestyle products in Zambia.

“I supervise a team of men who work in automotive repair, vehicle servicing and boat repair,” says the 28-year-old. “I owe my success to a man that sponsored me through ChildFund, and I’m really grateful,” she adds. “My life has turned around for the better, and I wake up every morning with a reason for living.”

Phanny’s parents died when she was just four years old, leaving only her 16-year-old sister to care of her. None of their relatives offered to take them in, so the sisters remained in their parents’ home and Phanny’s sister dropped out of school and resorted to doing odd jobs so that they could survive.

“My life before ChildFund was very difficult,” Phanny explains. “My sister only made enough for us to have a meal, I had no hope of ever starting school, and most of the time I joined my sister washing people’s clothes and cleaning their homes for food.”

Phanny’s big break came when her sister heard about ChildFund’s sponsorship program. The girls were immediately enrolled in programs through ChildFund Zambia’s local partner, Tiyanjane Community Association.

“Being enrolled at Tiyanjane project was the biggest relief for us,” Phanny says.

“The sponsor I was assigned was very kind. In our letters, my sister explained that I came from a child-headed household, and he became like a father to me,” she says. “He sent me inspiring letters and cards. I looked forward to receiving them every month.”

With support from her sponsor, Phanny sailed through primary school and qualified for secondary school with good grades. She completed school in 2006 and decided to study motor vehicle engineering.

In 2009, she started working for Autoworld as an assistant motor vehicle technician. She quickly rose through the ranks due to her commitment and love for the job.

Today, she is the supervisor and still the only female at Autoworld’s downtown branch. She and her sister live together in a nice house and Phanny’s sister no longer has to take odd jobs.

“I’m the only lady here, supervising a number of men,” Phanny says. “My life has changed positively, and I feel like I’m living my dream. I have dreams of meeting my sponsor to thank him and tell him in person what his support has done.”

In the future Phanny wants to further her education and open a garage of her own so that she can support other children in need in her community.

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