Greetings. I am Zoe. I am 10 years old and am a fourth grader in [REDACTED] Primary School. I live with 7 of my family members. Our house is always full of laughter and happiness. To an outsider, it would seem like we have everything in the world. I don’t think even the richest of people have the joy we have. We have what most households don’t have, which is love and unity. Everyone is concerned about everyone in our home. I feel blessed and loved to be part of my family.

My mother is the breadwinner in our family. She works in the nearby garbage dump, Kore, collecting recyclable materials to later sell. She can’t work elsewhere because she is a leper. I have offered to help her after school multiple times, but she says no every time, saying that it’s no place for children. But neither is it a place for adults. The tragedies of Kore are endless and I have heard so many scary stories about it. I worry that my mother will get sick or injured working there.

One of my chores at home is getting water from the common water source which is always so crowded. I often wait for hours and hours to get water, and that is if I somehow make it before the closing time. I then have to carry back a big container filled with water back home. I often have to make many stops as my hands get sore and I get out of breath. I really wish we had our own tap in our compound. That would be a dream come true.

I like Science and Mathematics subjects very much. When I grow up, I want to become a doctor. I would like to work on disease prevention, not just treatment, so I can help lepers like my mother and prevent more people from getting leprosy. I want to make a big difference in my country in the health arena. I am able to learn and am on the path of achieving my dreams because of the opportunities International Samaritan has given me, and for that, I would like to say thank you from the bottom of my heart.

A Garbage Dump in Galilee?

If there were a garbage dump in Galilee 2,000 years ago, I’m confident that Jesus would have gone to it.  If you want to know what that would look like in today’s world, please watch the video below.  It captures Esther Muhia, the leader of our freshly-established...

Why’d They Do That?

Children growing up in the Riverton area, located near Jamaica’s capital of Kingston, have the double whammy of being poor and the stigma of living and working near a garbage dump. I grew up in Riverton, too. My own dad never had the opportunity to finish primary...

The Hero in My Story

One of the best of many gifts my parents gave me is my middle name, Francis, after my dad’s best friend, Francis Canfield, S.J.  Fr. Frank ran the table on the Sacraments with me. He baptized me, gave me First Communion, sponsored me at Confirmation (where I also took...