Education is the passport out of poverty and, without a community school, 12-year-old Mercy might never have received a boarding pass. Everyday, Mercy walks eight – nine kilometres to Visionledd’s Little Canada Community School. Mercy enjoys learning and her favourite subject is English. She says she wants to be a teacher someday. This young Zambian girl lives with her grandmother in a town called Chibanga. Her mother died when she was just 10 months old and she isn’t sure where her father is. She doesn’t have any brothers or sisters either; it is just Mercy and her grandmother. Her grandmother is elderly and partially blind. As a result, sources of income are scarce. Her grandmother relies on a small garden to generate income, but sales are not always steady. Mercy’s story is not uncommon in Chibanga, there are many children that live in poverty and did not think they would ever have the chance to go to school.  But God had a different path for these children.

Now that Mercy has access to an education, she is able to think about a life beyond poverty. There is a sense of optimism that wasn’t in Mercy or the community before Little Canada was built.

“The people in an uneducated community, some do not know the importance of school, some want their children to be like them, but others are sending their children,” said Mrs Moono, Mercy’s teacher.

“The community is now changed, they have accepted and there is hope for the future as they can see results in their children’s learning.”

God worked through Visionledd to build this local community school. Knowing that education is a crucial tool out of poverty, God gave Mercy, and other children like her, a chance to change their futures. Mercy’s grandmother has also joined the local women’s group. As part of income generating activities, she has received her first pair of goats. God continues to work in Chibanga and has great plans for little Mercy and her grandmother.

Mercy and her grandmother