Economic Empowerment Zambia Impact Stories

A Savings Group Saves the Day

Written by World Vision Staff on Jan 10, 2020 12:00:00 PM

Elezeti & Lufelo now live happily

It is windy and the air of Ntambo community’s bare horizon is fully engulfed in dusty particles, flickering through the twilight. It is difficult to see as we drive on the small dirt road leading to Elezeti Mwale’s home in eastern Zambia.

Not that many years ago, Elezeti was preparing to work in the field. Her youngest son, Lufelo, then 8, left to harvest a sack of cotton to help pay his school fees when something terrible happened to him. “A big snake bit me above my right ankle,” Lufelo says, “I screamed for help before I fell down, feeling a sharp pain.”

It was a puff adder, one of the most venomous snakes. Lufelo’s father killed the snake before rushing him to the local health center. He received treatment, but there was no improvement. The leg turned dark and swollen. The doctors said it was damaged and the decision was made to amputate.

“I believed my son’s dreams were shattered forever. His education was over,” says Elezeti. “We sourced crutches for Lufelo, but still he could not go back to school. I was worried. Later, I managed to buy an artificial leg. Lufelo got back to school.” Soon, Lufelo made his mother proud. He excelled throughout his primary school and passed the national examinations, qualifying him for grade 8, the entry point for secondary education.

“I was excited to have made it to grade 8, but I fell sick. I could not feel my hands – they became paralyzed so I could not touch or write. And I could not walk. I could not walk even if I had crutches; the artificial leg had completely broken down and the school was far away [20 km / 12.4 miles] from the village,” Lufelo says. He adds, as he takes a deep breath, “I almost gave up but when I looked back, I remembered the goodness of God in my life, so I chose to thank Him all the time despite the difficult condition I was in. I realized God must be thanked whether things are good or bad.”

Lufelo’s new leg helps him live a normal life

When Elezeti felt every door had closed, new hope came her way. World Vision had just trained and assisted Olipa, Elezeti’s daughter, to join Ntam-bo’s savings group. In turn, Olipa convinced her mother to join. Once she joined, Elezeti was able to get a loan for $300 and buy an artificial leg for her son. “Today, I am the happiest mother. Lufelo’s walking, finishing grade 12 and has completely recovered from the paralysis. World Vision also assisted him with a bicycle, which he uses to cycle to school for weekly boarding,” says Elezeti, with a big smile.

Lufelo hopes to pursue teaching mathematics, his childhood dream. “I thank God for World Vision. I feel they came to this community purely to give me a future through everything, which has worked in my favor to restore me,” says Lufelo. Elezeti is now gardening and participating in Farming God’s Way, in which World Vision trained her to enhance her household food security. She is also using her savings group to help save for Lufelo’s teaching classes.

As the winds and dust of the day finally settle down and clear off the horizon, the golden dusk lies beautifully over the light cloud cover. This lovely view reflects the hope of Elezeti and Lufelo, for they can now clearly see the beauty of what tomorrow holds for them without worry and fear.