Zachariah (Zac) was born in 2005. His grandparents do not know the exact date of his birth so we celebrate his birthday on January 1st. Zac lives in the very poor fishing village of Tombo. Tombo is located on the western coastline of Sierra Leone and is a major hub for fish trade and transport. The town is known for its deeply religious Islamic faith. Because of the poor conditions and the bodies of water that surround Tombo, diseases such as Malaria, Typhoid and Cholera run rampant.
Zac lives with his grandparents who work as stone breakers. Stone breakers break down large boulders from construction areas into small stones with hammers. They then sell the small stones to be used for concrete making. It is extremely difficult work that does not pay much.
Zac's father died years ago and his mother immediately remarried, subsequently abandoning him. His grandparents took him in even though they knew they did not have the funds to do much. Zac's grandparents cannot adequately provide food and other basic needs for him. Therefore, Zac has found work fetching water for people, organize fish to be dried in fish shacks called Banda and transporting loads around the market area. Children working in Bandas are constantly exposed to the smoke and stench that gathers in the shack. There have been times when Zach has even had to provide food for the his grandparent from his small earnings.
Zac had to discontinue school in Class V due to the lack of funds to pay for school tuition, uniform, school supplies and other school fees. He would love to return to school if given the opportunity. Zac would like to become a pastor in the future.