Henrietta’s Story

Henrietta was just 11 years old when both her parents disappeared, leaving her with a tiny seven-month old sister to care for. She doesn’t really know what happened to them beyond what her granny told her: that her father died and her mother just disappeared.

Living with the loss of her family made things incredibly difficult for Henrietta. And that hardship was made worse when she was forced to drop out of school.

“I’d just go and help granny in the garden where she was growing cassava and potato leaves. I didn’t like it. I wanted an education, not to be a farmer.”

For four long years, Henrietta was stuck. But on a Saturday that she still vividly recalls, everything changed. She had been on her way to her aunt’s house when she met members of our One Girl team. They chatted about her little sister and the fact the girls had no parents – and eventually got onto the subject of school.

“They asked me if I wanted to go to school. I said yes – ‘of course!’ I’d sat out of school for so long.”

“The night before I was so excited I could hardly sleep. At about 1am I tried on all my uniform, with my socks and shoes and everything. My granny was asking me why I was dressing like that at this time of night. I was laughing.”

Sometimes pulling on a school dress for a day can seem a small thing to do. That is, until we hear stories like Henrietta’s – and are reminded that we really do have the power to change people’s lives through our actions!