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Victory Chikwadoro's Story
I chose Victory Chikwadoro for the V.O.W project as I love her thirst for life and her infectious energy. A very special soul.
*This story contains sensitive issues on loss and grief.
We were on the school run. My sisters had been dropped off first, they were in a different school to me. It was a 4-minute drive between their school and mine, 8 if we were caught in school rush traffic. This day it was 8. ‘I feel like we’re different, Mama,’ I said while we were halted in traffic. As kids, my sisters and I were good at being sneaky – if we took some chocolate from the Celebrations tin, we’d Sellotape it back exactly as we had found it. When we grew older, we tried to push the boundaries of our sneakiness, very often to our own demise. While other teens could sneak to parties, it felt like even if we imagined it, we got caught. ‘I feel like God won’t let us act out’ I said to my mum. I wasn’t mad about this. It felt like a superpower. There was a sense that as hard as I pushed the boundary, there was a Force keeping me behind the line. As bad as things were getting in my life, the outcome was always good. This particular morning I was musing out loud on the invincibility I felt. My mum laughed, when your Dad died, through my tears, amidst my grief, God told me that this family would be favored’. It was a declaration.
My mother had lost the love of her life yet she raised three daughters with all the love in her life. She always taught us that knowing what was important, but having a ‘why’ was essential. We were her ‘why’. She would remind us that we were set apart. Not like the rest. That our lives started with the most unprecedented of circumstances yet God never stopped looking on us with love, approval, and support. Throughout my life, my family had received acts of kindness beyond what felt normal for our circumstances –from a string of friends who would babysit my sisters and me ‘free-of-charge’ while my mum worked night shifts to a ‘free’ car from our church. ‘Sometimes it feels mind-boggling that Daddy died a week before you gave birth and we’re here in Ireland without any immediate family yet I feel like we have such a satisfying life. It sometimes feels like theirs a halo of good around our family. Even though we’re not immune to tragedy, everything always works out for good’. Everything always works out for good. For my good. My story pivots on this realization. This realization is embodied in the path I’m on. As I get older, the path becomes clearer. Bad things still happen, yet the declaration sounds louder. I am favored. My life is different. There’s a reason I am here today. My mother taught me, amongst tragedy, amidst grief, when you’ve been given a purpose, you have hope to carry on. And through the depression, anxiety, setbacks, and failures, this has been the banner over me so far.
As someone who is passionate about the well-being and safety of girls and women in marginalized communities, I have chosen Saheliya as my charity. Saheliya is a specialist mental health and well-being support organization for black, minority ethnic, asylum seeker, refugee, and migrant women and girls in the Edinburgh and Glasgow area. They work to promote mental well-being by combating the effects of discrimination and abuse, reducing the stigma of mental health, and improving access to mainstream services.
~ Victory ~
~I am Purpose ~
For more information on Victory Chikwadoro charity please visit www.saheliya.co.uk
Saheliya Charity Number -SC209861
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