Zambia, Southern Africa
Nana Delphine's Story
Rachel visited Nana Delphine last month and writes:
Nana Delphine's house is not easy to find. Located in the heart of Chazanga compound in North Lusaka, Zambia, the car can hardly get down the narrow dirt tracks that link the tiny houses. We get out of the car, Nana Delphine rushes out of her house and hugs everyone in turn. It is an emotional greeting.
She is a widow in her late fifties. Like many older women in Zambia she expected to be cared for by her grown-up children. But her children have died of AIDS, and instead of being looked after, she is looking after seven orphaned grandchildren. She is their sole guardian and provider.
It would be barely possible even to survive, but help from donors in Europe has eased the burden she faces a little. Through SOS Children, they put a proper roof on her house so it doesn’t flood when it rains, and give all her grandchildren a quality education at the SOS primary school in Lusaka. Also she got some training on how to set up and run a small business. Outside nana Delphine's house are baskets of drying roots, which when cooked are tasty and highly nutritious. She sells these to passers-by and makes a small living.
Nana Delphine is a proud woman, and likes the fact she manages to be independent now. Her house is very small, roughly 20 foot by eight foot, and it is here that eight people live, eat and sleep. But her house is so tidy, and each of her few possessions are treasured. It is obvious she cares about her home, which is very humbling.
Nana Delphine is using addressed as Mrs R. However since her grandchildren have her surname we only give her first name to protect their privacy.