Her Family’s Best Chance: Getrude’s Story

05/19/14

It’s up to Getrude now. She may only be a high school senior, but right now she is her family’s only hope for escaping poverty. 

 
That might sound like an exaggeration. But in a place like Malawi, where opportunities are few, it’s reality. 
 
Getrude’s education gives her and her family access to better opportunities
           Getrude’s education gives her and her family access to better opportunities than they’ve ever had before.
 
When Getrude was three years old, her parents divorced. Since then, her mom and step-dad have had trouble growing enough crops on their family farm and earning enough money to live. It doesn’t help that Getrude’s mom is nearly 60—the average life expectancy in Malawi.
 
Getrude’s older brothers might have been able to help their mom and sister if they’d gotten a better education and better jobs. But they didn’t. Now they have enough trouble supporting their own families.
 
Opportunities are few in Malawi
                 Getrude’s family, like many in Malawi, has struggled with a lack of resources and opportunities.
 
To lighten their burden, a few years ago Getrude’s mom and step-dad sent her to the village of Mgwayi, to live with an aunt (who we originally thought was her mom). But even in this new family, Getrude didn’t have enough food most of the time. And between her housework and long walks to school, she barely had time to study.
 
“I was going to a school that was some distance from home,” Getrude says. “It was taking me about an hour to walk to school. I was getting tired on my walk to school. This made me have little time to study at home.”
 
Thankfully, in 2010 Getrude was able to enter the Children of the Nations (COTN) child sponsorship program in Mgwayi. With the support of her sponsors, she has been attending COTN’s secondary school, the International Christian Academy (ICA), for the past four years. “COTN has given me better education,” she says.
 
Getrude now lives at the girls’ dormitory at COTN’s school
Getrude now lives at the girls’ dormitory at COTN’s International Christian Academy. She’s expecting to graduate next month and then pursue nursing. 
 
Getrude also has an easier time focusing on her studies now. Through her sponsors’ support, she has a place to live right on campus. “I also like the necessities we receive, like soap, lotion, blankets, and shoes,” she says. “It would be difficult for us to afford most of these things on our own. They make a huge impact on us.”
 
This is why Getrude’s family looks to her for encouragement. They’re well aware of the opportunities her education affords her—and them. After she graduates, God willing, Getrude will begin nursing school. She wants to work in health care because, she says, “It’s exciting to help other people.” 
 
“God is always with us and is the provider of our needs,” Getrude says.
         “God is always with us and is the provider of our needs,” says Getrude, here with a friend from school.
 
No matter what her future holds, Getrude will trust in this lesson she’s learned at COTN’s school: “God is always with us and is the provider of our needs,” she says. “He has been providing for me.”
 
Give a child—and her family—a chance at a future without poverty. Sponsor a child today.