Birthday : April 8
Joseph was living with two grandmothers and 12 others in one room, with no running water and no electricity before he came to Lupwa Home. Because he is blind in one eye he was teased and abused for his handicap. From a very early age he worked in the fields and sold goods at market, being the main provider for the entire household. He mostly skipped school to work in the field, as it was considered a higher priority. The first few days in our home he was so exhausted that he just slept. He’s been considered the captain of our home always directing the younger children to have good behavior. We believed Joseph was 12 when he came into the home, but soon the truth came out that he was really 14 and that he had lied, because he was scared we would not take him if we knew his real age. After reassuring him that he would never be sent away, he has gained much confidence and is a wonderful asset to the home.
Last year, Joseph passed the State Examination to enter into tenth grade. We had promised him that if he studied hard enough to pass this rigorous exam, he would be allowed to enroll in a boarding school. This school, Chiwala Technical School, is giving him a much better chance at academics than the local school he previously attended. Now 17, Joseph is presently in grade 11 working towards his high school diploma. When we consider that he has virtually caught up grade-wise to his age group [having started school so late in life] we can only be ever so proud of his academic accomplishments and receive regular reports of his competence in this new school. On certain weekends and during academic breaks, Joseph loves to work with his hands and is very good at fixing things around the Vima Lupwa Home. He is eager to learn any and all new skills. When home from school his favorite hobby is to sit in front of the radio listening to music, announcements and even fuzz….anything to do with the radio. He is the main breakfast cook and helps get the younger children ready for school.