When cholera spread across Zambia, killing dozens of people, Daliso volunteered her time as a nurse at her local hospital to fill the shortage of medical staff who had been deployed to emergency centres to fight the epidemic.
Bright, knowledgeable and eager to help, the 20-year-old stepped in to fill the gaps in various wards, from general surgery to neurology to ER.
“The country’s health institutions were in need of more health personnel following the outbreak of cholera, and I was motivated to volunteer,” Daliso says.
Despite the chaos in the hospitals, Daliso was in her element. She had wanted to become a nurse and be able to help and care for people in need all her life.
Her parents died when she was five years old and she was raised by her grandfather on a meagre income. It was unlikely she would finish high school, let alone be able to pursue higher education.
However, with ChildFund Zambia’s support Daliso finished her secondary studies and received a scholarship that helped her realise a better future.
“It was the happiest day of my life when I learnt I could study nursing,” Daliso says.
“It was a dream come true.”
The United Nations estimates that of the 600 million adolescent girls that will enter the workforce in the next decade, more than 90% of those living in developing countries will work in the informal sector where low pay, abuse and exploitation are common.