My name is Agnes. I am 18-years-old. I live in Zambia.
I was living with my mother and then I moved to the city to live with my sister so I could start Grade 1. I was there until Grade 4.
My sister’s husband was supporting me at school so, when he died, I came back to live with my parents.
When I was younger my favourite subjects were English and community studies.
I wanted to be a nurse or a soldier.
I enjoyed telling stories and playing with my friends, those who were near me and encouraging me at school.
I went to live with my husband when I was three months pregnant
I got pregnant with Timothy when I was 14 years old. I had just finished my Grade 7 exams. I had passed with very good marks and I was among those who were sponsored to go to a high school in Livingstone. But, because I was pregnant I was not able to go.
Grace is a 22 year old woman, and is sponsored through ChildFund. She was also close to being one of 31% of Zambian girls who are married off before the age of 18. This is her story.
My name is Grace and I was to be married at 13
My name is Grace. I am 22 years old. I am sponsored and I live in Zambia with my mother.
I did not know my father because he died when I was still young.
When I was a child I liked to play netball and skipping. I used to fear snakes and other wild animals.
I loved school. My favourite subjects were maths, science and geography. I loved playing with friends.
When I was young I dreamed of becoming a doctor.
I asked my family for my school tuition
After Grade 7 I asked my family for the money for my school tuition. My brothers told me they had no money, and that I would be married off soon. My mother was sick.
I wanted so badly to go to school, and instead I was to be sold for money to be a wife. A man came and paid a bride price to take me home. I did not know anything about marriage or what work would be involved.
I was surprised when the man came to pay a bride price. I was upset and wondered why he had come when I still wanted to go to school.
My heart sank.