He just finished the 3rd grade... and finished 5th in his class of 65 students. I got the report that he is adjusting really well to living in his new home with his uncles, aunts, and cousins. His health is greatly improving now as well. He is living with HIV, but now that he is being fed nutritious meals on a regular basis, the medicines seem to be able to work better. His blood work has shown that his levels are staying at a much better level and he is feeling a lot better.
He is still struggling with some outbursts and behavioral issues but overall his attitude is greatly improving as well. Some of these outbursts are side effects of the meds that he has to take twice a day. They make him feel funny, and are giving him feelings of aggression. He is going to need to be on these meds for the rest of his life, so it's super important that he learns how to deal with these feelings and act on them appropriately.
He is really thriving in his new environment and really seems happy there. I wish that every child struggling in Zambia had a wonderful family that could rally around them like this little boy's family has.
Many children in Zambia have lost one or both parents to either AIDS or malaria. When this happens, they will either find themselves out on the streets, or forced to live with another family member. In most cases, the family members that take them in, are struggling themselves and don't really have the resources to properly care for them. Many children end up living with an Aunt or Uncle that treats them more like a worker than family. Often they are not enrolled in school like the other children, and kept at home to help with the house work or sent out to find a job. This is the case with many children that attend the Zambian Vocal Group Academy that we will be working with again this summer. All of these children are smart, driven, and eager to learn. They just need to be given a chance.