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.