Jacqueline Tembo

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My name is Jacqueline Tembo.  I was born on the 16th of December 1992.  I am from Solwezi, a town in the northwestern part of Zambia.  I am the second last in a family of nine. I am currently pursuing a Degree in Prosthetics and Orthotics at Tumaini University in Moshi, Tanzania.

I was born with a condition called PFFD (Proximal Femoral Focal Deficiency) which affected my right leg and I have been using an artificial leg since I was two. The love and support which I received from my family, especially my mother, are the main influences that have built my self esteem and contributed to the kind of person I am. Being a person with a disability, there is always a temptation to live the rest of your life depending on people’s abilities other than your own. My family helped me understand the importance of testing my abilities rather than focusing on my area of difficulty. I always believe that I can use my talents to make it in life as someone who is independent and reliable to others. Had it not been on for my late parents’ knowledge about the use of artificial limbs, I probably would have been unable to have an artificial leg – which has been my free way ticket to independence and a chance to walk.

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I did my primary education at Chalimbana Basic School, Freedom Private and my secondary and high school education at Mukinge Girls Secondary School. Mukinge Girls Secondary School is a boarding school located in the northwestern province of Zambia. This school is a memorable place for me. It is the place where I became a Christian and met teachers who were both my mentors and parents. It’s also the place where I met Olivia Giles. In 2009 my artificial leg was giving me some problems so I went to Mukinge Hospital where Olivia was visiting with FlySpec and the technologist from ZIOH who solved my problem. The time I spent with Olivia at the hospital fueled a desire in me to work hard at school and obtain good grades that would enable me to be qualified for the profession. My hard work and determination paid off; I was the best overall student in my intake and I achieved good grades.

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I was given an opportunity by 500 miles to work as a bench worker at Zambian Italian Orthopeadic Hospital and then go to study. The main reason why I choose to work in this line of work is because I also have benefited from the use of artificial limb and the joy it brings when my own condition encourages other people to use artificial limbs and move on with life is amazing. I love my profession!

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My hobbies are cooking, singing, dancing, spending time with family, visiting new places and swimming. I also like playing chess and pool. My dreams are that I get to be the best orthotist/ prosthetist, obtain a Master’s Degree and be a motivational speaker for people with disabilities.