Aggie Chiluso

Birthday : May 7


When she was an infant, her mother contracted AIDS. Upon learning of the infection, the husband left; a not-so-atypical act. Abandoned and living in a desperately poor compound close to train tracks, Aggie’s aggie1mother tried feverishly to provide for them both. Yet her illness was slowly killing her. With no means to obtain medical treatment, she succumbed to the illness when Aggie was a mere 18 months old. Aggie crawled, sat and waited in the shanty by her mother’s body for an unknown number of days.. One day a neighbor saw this tiny girl crawling along the tracks and brought her to the police. Several days later, the police made the connection between the infant and the body of the woman that had been found in the shanty.aggie3During the next few years, Aggie lived in many places, with neighbors or extended family members, but she was often left on her own. She got no schooling, little food and was scraping out a hopeless life in the streets where she was abused. Her future seemed destined to be one of the millions of street children living in the cities of Zambia. Having been identified by the Zambian Social Welfare office, she is now living with us in Mikomfwa township where she has started school, has a future-oriented attitude and is learning quickly both at school and at home as member of the Lupwa family – our hopes for her are very high.  


It is amazing how much Aggie has excelled in the last two years at the Vima Lupwa Home. She loves to sing, in fact it is rare to find her not singing all the time – singing is an incredible companion for the children in Zambia and Aggie is a perfect example of this trend. Aggie needed quite a bit of help catching up academically. We were able to provide her a tutor for a year to give her extra assistance. Two years ago she was accepted into an Italian-run school located about 2 km from the home, this school is known to be one of the best schools in the region. Aggie is now 15 and in the 8th grade. Adjusting into a safe home with consistent food was difficult for Aggie. Every once in a while she still forgets that this new life is permanent. One afternoon she fried and ate 7 eggs by herself. Unfortunately she became quite sick, and seemed surprised when dinner was offered to her as usual; she had thought she would be punished for eating the eggs! This is common behavior with children who have a history of starvation. Since that episode, Aggie has felt more comfortable and often cooks small meals for herself throughout the day whenever she is hungry. Aggie’s favorite thing to do is to take care of her little Lupwa Home sisters, Ruthie and Julian. The little girls follow her everywhere and they have become best friends! She dreams of becoming a teacher when she grows up and is often found tutoring the neighbor kids in various subjects.

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