by Francis R. G. Ligomeka (Principal FOMO Independant Seconadry School)
FAMILY BACKGROUND: Lydia Funali was born on 17th May 1999 at Nsanjama village in Mkando area in the family of Mr. and Mrs. Funali. Lydia is the last born in the family of five children. She has three brothers and one sister. Her father was working as a primary teacher while her mother was a house wife. Her mother died when she was young that she cannot even remember her appearance. She declares that she has not seen her mother. Her father died a year later. Lydia was staying with her grandmother. Her grandmother also died in 2008. Then, Lydia is staying with her aunt, a sister to her father. Her elder sister and two brothers are staying in their mother’s house in Mkando taking care of them. Lydia and her younger brother, Eric are staying with their aunt at Bondo village, Mulanje. Her aunt has seven children. They have seven children in their family making a total of nine children together with Lydia and her brother. They are not employed but depend on subsistence farming.
JOINING FOMO: Lydia joined FOMO in 2009 when she was 9 years old. She was in standard 4 at KabichiPrimary School by then. Due to financial status of Lydia’s aunt, she could not assist Lydia and her brother Eric together with her seven children, so she went to Chief Bondo and explained that she was supporting two orphans and seven children. Chief Bondo gave her a letter and took it to FOMO centre. Lydia and Eric were registered as FOMO beneficiaries. By then Eric was in standard seven, this time he is in form four at Kabichi CDSS. FOMO is assisting Lydia with school fees, clothes, shoes, food and school materials like exercise books, writing materials and uniform.
EFFECT OF FOMO: FOMO has changed the life of Lydia in different ways. It has changed her life educationally. FOMO encourages children to go to school. She likes education because of FOMO. At first, she had no clothes but this time, she has lots of clothes because of FOMO. She spends much of her time at FOMO centre. Without FOMO, Lydia said that she would have been involved in other immoral activities which would force her into early marriage. She could do this because of lack of financial assistance. Some of her age mates are mothers of fatherless children and others in families.
FUTURE PLANS: Lydia wants to be a nurse. She wants to assist her fellow women and other people who will be in need of healthy assistance. She wishes to be a nurse because she likes science subjects like Physical Science, Biology and Mathematics. She also like other subjects like English, Business Studies and Agriculture.
HER POINT OF VIEW: Lydia is very thankful to the directors and the entire management of FOMO for the assistance rendered to her. Without FOMO, she would not have gone far with her education. She said that she has benefited a lot from FOMO. She asks FOMO to render the same service to other people who are in need. Lydia promises to work with FOMO when she finishes her education
PROBLEMS FACED: Lydia comes from Naluwade centre, Bondo village which is very far FOMOIndependentSecondary School. Because of that, she is at self boarding, renting the premises which are close to the school. Therefore she faces the problems of food and money for daily consumption. Her aunt is trying to assist her but her assistance is not enough due high cost of living.
Lives can be changed, but we do need YOU to help sponsor children like Lydia.
Donating to the hostel project will help Lydia and many other children that are finding it impossible to find safe and secure accomodation to attend school.
Even a small gift to help may seem too little, but to them it’s means everything.