By Agatha Mali, Communications Officer, Zambia
“I had never thought that I would one day work for an organization that transformed my life since I was young,” says Event Siatontola, a World Vision Zambia former-sponsored child.
30 years ago, Event’s parents did not have the means to fully provide for all their seven children, especially regarding school enrollment and requirements.
His parents were subsistence farmers in Chikanta chiefdom in the southern part of Zambia, where farming was their primary source of income. Although their produce was not enough, they were only able to sell a few 50 kilograms of bags of maize and used the money to take one of the Event’s older siblings to school. They could not provide all the basic needs to Event and his siblings.
“Living in a vulnerable environment did not make life simple. Because my parents could not afford to send my other siblings and me to school, I used to feel horrible every time I saw my peers go to school, and I did not,” says Event.
The child sponsorship program was one of the initiatives running when World Vision established a program in the Chikanta area in 1993. Event had the opportunity of being accepted into the sponsorship program along with many other kids. “My family benefited from the Sponsorship program when I enrolled, and gradually our livelihood improved, he says. “I was enrolled in school and school necessities were provided.”
Event says World Vision did not only transform his family but the community too. He says the community did not have clean and safe water as they used to draw and share water with domestic animals, exposing them to diarrheal and skin diseases.
“But when World Vision came into our community, they sensitized all the households about the importance of practising hygiene and sanitation. They also drilled boreholes that provided us with clean and safe water,” Event narrates.
Event's dream of finishing school was made possible with the aid of World Vision.
After completing secondary school, Event was accepted to study accounts at one of Zambia’s accountancy colleges. He eventually graduated with a diploma in Accountancy, furthered his studies, and attained a Bachelor’s degree in Accounts.
Now working as a World Vision Zambia grants and finance accountant, he says it gives him pride to work for the organization that transformed his life.
I am grateful to World Vision for their efforts to transform my life up to this stage. It is through my job that I am also contributing to the organization’s interventions by helping to transform vulnerable children’s lives," he says.
He adds, “My role as grants and financial accountant is to ensure that any money given by donors to World Vision Zambia is used to the intended beneficiaries and not misappropriated.”