Joyce and her brothers were some of the first kids at Matunda. Her mother died and her father is not able to take care of them. Her younger brother Michael, one of the youngest and longest at Matunda, actually laid the first stone of the new building, together with the founder, Fredrick Mukolwe. Their names are on the plaque on the outside wall of the building.

Joyce did well in grade school, and is the natural leader of the group of teenage girls at our center. With a sponsor, she was able to attend her first year of high school this year, but seemed to be gradually doing less well. She even had been skipping school, which is not a good sign.

In a conversation with her, it seems she also has to take care of her grandfather, which helped explain that. Kids here often face choices that they shouldn’t have to face, but she is responsible enough that she is doing what she thinks is necessary.

She’s also bright enough to think she is not in the right school. It’s not good enough, according to her, with too many students (very often 50 or more students in one class) just not learning or doing anything, and that is holding her back. The school year starts in January, and as what she is saying seems like it might be true, we’ll look at the possibilities. She even has chosen a school in the area where she would like to go. Joyce has a good chance to make it in life.