Lucky is a gentle and quiet young man. His birthday is unknown and he tends to give different responses as to as old he is. We believe that he is around 16 years old. Lucky is a double orphan. His father is unknown, he has never lived with him. His mother died 2 years ago, in 2010. Lucky lived in a village with his mother and step father until the death of his mother when he came to live with extended family in Bauleni, in 2011. He likes school and he likes to play football (soccer.) When asked what he wants or needs he replied, “Clothes, shoes, food and a soccer ball.” When Mary asked Lucky what he wanted to be when he grows up, he said, “ a policeman.” But, recently, when our intern, Emma, asked him the same question, he replied that he wants to be a teacher. I feel that this change of heart is due to the education and the examples that he has seen at Appleseed. We have recently hired a new male teacher, John. John is a wonderful role model for our young men. He is smart, quiet and gentle but also fun. Lucky has never been to school before joining us at RHO Appleseed so his academic skills are quite low, however, he works very hard and I have confidence that he can reach his goals!
Lucky at School
When you click on the picture you will see the larger version and the caption.
More to Lucky's story
Lucky's uncle decided that he did not want to care for Lucky anymore, so, on December 29th he put him on a bus and sent him to other relatives, over 8 hours away. At the time, Lucky was told that he was going for a visit, but when he arrived he was told that he would not be returning to Lusaka. He cried and told them that he is supposed to be in school. Our hearts are breaking for this young man. He had never attended school before he began at RHO Appleseed. He was learning and thriving. He was happy. He loved helping around the school and with the smaller children. We are told that he has made a call to his uncle, asking to come back. The uncle said no. Since then, two of our teachers, John and Vincent, who are also double orphans, still living with relatives, have said that they would like to get a place and take Lucky in. These men are so very kind and we believe that this would be the best thing for Lucky. We have approached the aunt and uncle with this idea. They have agreed, but as of yet, have not gotten word to the relatives in the village. We are holding Lucky’s sponsorship money in hopes of getting him a bus ticket back to Bauleni and moved in with Teacher John and Teacher Vincent. We will not give up on getting him back. Vincent has an uncle who works for Child Welfare and we will go through the proper procedures to have Vincent or John designated as his legal guardian. We worry, though, about his spirt being broken in the mean time. We hope that he knows that we love him and are doing what we can to get him back to school. It is times like these that we wish we had our own property with student dorms.
When we were ready to go shopping, Lucky had not yet arrived at the school. Mary knew that he was planning to go, so she went to his house to see why he wasn’t there. She found him sitting in the house looking very sad. His uncle and aunt were there as well. Upon entering, Mary saw the aunt and realized that she is a distant relative of hers. (Well, not really that distant.... Mary’s father had more than one wife while Mary was growing up, and this woman was one of his other daughters!) Mary asked the uncle, why Lucky was not at the school. The uncle said that he would not allow Lucky to go. He had no reason, other than simply being mean. We already knew that Lucky is not treated well by his caregivers. They make him do all of the chores for the family and he is often late for school and very tired because he has been working for them. The family has, in the past, threatened to send Lucky back to the village, where he would have nothing.
Mary, being the strong woman that she is, told the uncle that he cannot treat this boy the way that he does and if he continues, or if he sends him to the village, she will report him to the police. We are fortunate in that we have developed a very good relationship with the Bauleni police and they will help us in these types of situations. The uncle told Mary, that he did not know that it was her who ran the school, and he agreed to let him go shopping. Even though he let him go we were still concerned about what would happen when we bought food for Lucky. We hope to buy him enough with the next donation, for him to have dinners each night this month. He eats breakfast and lunch at school each Monday-Friday. He and Mary decided that it would be best if Mary could keep the food at her house and he could come there and she would feed him dinner. On the upside, Lucky has told Mary, that since she talked to his uncle and aunt, they have treated him much better!
With the initial sponsorship money, we took Lucky and some of the other kids shopping. He had a great time! He really liked a particular pair of jeans, but they didn’t have his size and would have used his whole budget for the day, so, instead he chose a pair of sweat pants, shorts, a new polo shirt and a pair of shoes.