Lute comes from an educated family in Zambia where her family were relatively comfortably off. Suddenly, five years ago, the government decided that every Zambian over 55 would have to retire as the country was facing economic devastation. For the same reason, the government couldn’t afford to pay out pensions to its pensioners. This plunged her family into poverty and meant that it would become difficult for Lute to fulfil her academic potential.

Lute started at Our Moon last January. Through our programme, she has discovered a lot about herself, become more confident and had the time to reflect on the challenges facing women in Zambia.

Women and arts are looked down on. Many think that the arts industry isn’t a beneficial career path, especially for women. I believe that if women want to, they can climb the ladder – and can become someone worthy of being looked up to. I want to help change this perspective and put women in arts in a better light.

I’d love to venture into a career where I can use my creative artistry and hands. I have been looking at construction jobs – particularly in construction management and architectural engineering where I can see projects through to their completion.

I’d also like to develop more independence for myself as a woman in Zambia. I’ve seen how women are at a disadvantage compared to men here. I’d like to help Zambian women gain more independence to improve their own lives. They can then educate and inspire their children about how to do so for themselves, instead of relying on their fathers and uncles to help them. If I can change my life independently, I can then use this knowledge to help empower others around me to change theirs. If women, men, and children can all attain equal levels of independence, I think we will all be able to work together more easily to make the world a better place.

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