Why We Care.org

I was born in a rural village in Botswana. It was in October, and my grandmother was the midwife.

It was malaria season. And of those babies born during that plowing season, only 40 percent of us survived. I have carried that with me my whole life; I always felt I was fortunate – I survived.

When I was quite young, around four years old, my younger sister died of German measles; we had not been immunized. In my culture, when someone dies in the family, children are kept away. I hadn’t seen my mom for two days, and I decided to sneak in and see her. I saw my sister in a coffin, a plain wooden coffin. My mother was on a mat, on the ground, weeping. That memory will never leave me.

Access to education about family planning can help a woman decide when and if she wants to have more children, especially in the context of poor countries where problems like drought are enormous.

When I started primary school, we were taught under a tree, writing on slates with chalk stone. There was an outbreak of German measles, almost two years after my sister had died, and that sad experience left a deep impression on me. My schoolmates and I had the idea that in Germany, there must be even more children dying of measles than in Botswana. We wrote letters to the German people, telling them how sorry we were their children were dying!