Grace and her child in her house
Grace’s house in Nancholi Blantyre

”My parents divorced when I was 2 years old, my father took me with him when I turned three,” says Grace Taulo, a beneficiary of the Methodist Church paid vocational training.

Grace was born on January 20, 1997, today at 22, she says, she was raised by different women as her father kept on remarrying.

Everytime a marriage ended he took Grace with him to the next marriage, all the while having more children.

She can’t tell how many children are her dad’s since she was young, she only knows about 4 from the recent marriage.

“I know there are many out there. My mother had 3 more children but they all passed away, she narrates.”

As regards her education, Grace says, she dropped out of school in Form 1, however, grateful to her late father, who died 2 years ago.

He took her to school, regardless of it only being primary education, she was still able to be in a classroom, and remembers the love he gave her the first few years of her life.

Asked of her life’s biggest challenge, she said, “Losing both my parents, not having anyone to call my family has been the worst obstacle in my life”

Asked how she handled the pain of loss,  a distant, “mmmh” momentarily lost in thought, Grace said, “I have met so many obstacles in my life, my father’s different wives kept beating me up, mistreated me, told so many lies about me, how I got here I can only thank God.”

When she was in Standard 8, her father unfortunately chased her away because of the step mother.

A friend took her under her wing and she began to live with her. While staying with the friend, Grace got pregnant after meeting her child’s father who is currently 25.

Grace (standing in the middle) with her tailoring students

She got pregnant when she started form one. The friend moved and she ended up staying with the child’s father until today.

She said “I opted to stay with him since I had no one else, otherwise I could be alone.  United Methodist church gave me a family. I started as a visitor but I couldn’t leave. I felt welcomed and I felt that I was home, she said.”

The church, paid for her vocational training in plumbing, asked what this opportunity means to her and she said “everything, now I will be able to help my son and myself, I would love to dress better and have a better life. It was a dream but now it seems possible”.