Family is a beautiful thing. It is what we all crave – young and old, rich and poor. In it we feel protected, loved, and cared for. We have an identity, and above all, a sense of belonging. 

Being an orphan, there’s one thing I longed for besides the provision of basic needs, and that was family. There’s the biological family, and there’s the God-sent family. When I lost my parents, I was blessed with an even bigger family at Horizon, and that changed my life. 

I became a part of the Horizon family at age 13, now 19 years ago. They saw me through primary school, high school, university and provided for all my basic needs. Above all, I received love.

In December 2021, I made a life-changing decision together with my partner: to start a family! That decision has changed my life tremendously, in an amazingly good way — because I was ready for it. Nine months down the line, we welcomed our little boy Kai into the world, and two became three. 

I’ve always loved babies. I now realise it’s one thing to look after a child for a few hours and send them back to their parents, and it’s another thing to have a child who fully depends on you 24/7! You’re stuck with them — you are their home. My protective antennas are on high alert. Sometimes paranoia kicks in and I want to check every other minute if my baby is ok.  

Is he sleeping in the right position, is his breathing normal, is he full or still hungry? Why is he so fussy? Am I doing it right? The list is endless. All I want is for him to be safe and feel loved. 

My heart is full of joy and a love I cannot explain for this little boy.

Every child deserves the opportunity to be just that: a child, not forced to grow up at a tender age. Every child deserves a family regardless of blood relatedness or not. 

I am grateful for a wonderful support system surrounding me today, starting with my partner who’s been there since we began this journey together, my colleagues at the office, friends, siblings, and the entire Horizon family. It goes without saying — when you grow up surrounded by a loving and caring family, that is what you will provide for your family when the time comes. Love multiplies love. 

Written by Dorice Lusuli: Horizon alumni, staff member, empowered individual, mother.

Watch the short video below to hear Dorice share about her journey of empowerment.