Christabel started her Pestalozzi World journey at the Zambian Village in 2004. After graduating in 2011, she went on to study agriculture and is now an assistant farm manager, working on an agricultural aid project supported by our partners at The JAF Foundation.
“I come from a rural Northern part of Zambia. My father left us when I was only 9 months old, and it was a struggle for my mother to put food on the table and to send us to school. At home I didn’t have a bed of my own.
When I was chosen by Pestalozzi, I was very happy. On my first day, I remember, I was very shy. It took me a while to get used to the new environment.
We had travelled a long distance, so we were tired when we arrived. To get there and have my own bed, my own space, my own shoes I was over the moon! I was really happy and excited!
I started having three good meals a day which was very different to back home. When I went back to my village for holidays everyone said I looked like a different person.
At school, if you got good marks you were put in the Zambian Village newsletter and we could take it to our parents. My mother doesn’t know how to read English so I would give it to my brother, and he would read it to her.
I think I was in the newsletter twice and it made my mother so proud, it was the best moment of my life!
Passing on the Pestalozzi values
During my time with Pestalozzi World, I acquired new knowledge and skills, that’s true; but the experience also changed the way I think and gave me a different perspective on life.
In my family, a lot of my cousins were married by age of 13. If it were not for Pestalozzi World, I am sure I would have been married and I would have children by now – but it’s a different story now.
It is my ambition to get a farm and have chickens and crops, and maybe even a supermarket of my own where I can sell my own products. And then, I would like to give back to the community, maybe identify two or three vulnerable children and help them in the same way that Pestalozzi World helped me.
To the donors and supporters of Pestalozzi World I would first of all like to thank you, and ask you to continue your support, because if it had not been for you my life would have been very different.
Your help has not only changed my life, but it has also changed my family’s life. If just 10 people’s lives are changed in that way, we are helping a huge number of people in society!”