Widow with 12 grandchildren appeals for help

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A WOMAN of Garden compound in Lusaka who has been living with her 12 grandchildren in a one roomed house has called on well-wishers to come to her aid.
Peggy Sakala, 61, said in an interview that survival had not been easy with her and the children because she did not have a proper source of income.
Ms. Sakala said that since her husband died in 2011, she had been selling bananas and groundnuts on the streets so she could make ends meet for the family.
She explained that she made about K80 to K100 per day which she used to buy food among other basic needs for her and the 12 children.
“Having a proper diet has always been a challenge for us because the money I make is very little for 13 people. I do not even remember the last time we had breakfast as a family,” she said.
“ We only prepare lunch and dinner. I buy three bags of 25 kg mealie-meal per month and I do not think I will reduce to two despite the increased price of the commodity,” she said.
The widow said that 8 out of her 11 children died and left the children with her stressing that there was nowhere else she could take them because she was the only one available for them.
She said that only 9 of her grandchildren were in school and that she was still trying to source for more funds so that the other three could also be enrolled.
She had never received support from the fathers of her grandchildren since the death of their mothers who all died mysteriously.
Ms. Sakala said that her children die mysteriously and that the last one died in September last year and left 5 children, two of whom are living with her.
“My relatives have been telling me to go and live in the village but I’m scared of going with the children there because they have gotten used to town life and people in the village will not understand them,” she said.
She further complained that she may soon be homeless as the owner of the house she is living in with her grandchildren wants to sell it to other people.
She did not have any clue of where she and her grandchildren would go should the owner of the house sell it.

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