Read an excerpt of the Foreword below:
Betty Makoni has lived a life worth writing about. She never had a childhood, and was surrounded by the oppression of women, poverty and missed opportunities. And yet, her life today is not a reflection of her past. She has overcome what she calls a vicious cycle of poverty and misery, by fighting against the very system that sought to deny her the chance at a decent life. She is a brave and courageous woman, and it is my pleasure to bring you her story. I hope you find it just as inspiring as I did. Betty Makoni is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Girl Child Network, an organization which started in a classroom in Zimbabwe with ten advanced level students and which quickly transformed from a teacher-student group into a global network.
Growing up in a family of six children, Betty Makoni describes her life as one full of limitless challenges. Her mother suffered physical abuse at the hands of her father, and she saw violence perpetrated against women all around her. Seeing grown women being abused and crying right in front of her young eyes left her feeling angry and helpless as a young girl. Her mother’s seemingly helpless position was not much encouragement either. Right before her eyes she saw her mother accept her life as fate and even though Betty, many times wished her mother would do something, she did not. She couldn’t. It was only later in life as a young woman that Betty came to understand her mother’s choices – including the choice she made to remain silent when Betty was sexually assaulted at the age of six.