Date of Award

2013

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

Neatness is a teenage girl living in Zimbabwe. She told her story in a video for the nonprofit organization Forgotten Voices, in the hopes that “my story helps thousands of kids, just like me, all around me.” She lives with her immediate and extended family at the Mtshabezi Mission. Her father died when she was in sixth grade. Her grandfather, uncle, younger brother, and mother are ill, presumably suffering from AIDS. Her days are long and busy – waking up before 5 a.m. to start a fire and feed children, walking to school with cousins, cleaning her mother’s and sister’s room, doing homework, ironing her uniform. Yet, she has hope for the future: “I think God is going to bless me, and I hope I’m going to live a better life and I think I’m going to experience good times.” She has reason to be optimistic – she is eagerly pursuing her education. “Education, to me, is a key of success ….” And one of the reasons she is able to pursue that education is that, with help from forgotten voices, the church is covering her school fees. Neatness says that this has taken a lot of pressure off of her mother (Forgotten Voices, 2008).

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