My Life Story
by NTAHUNGA Nathan
Rukara Sector, Eastern Province, Rwanda
This is a guest blog post from one volunteer's student. Nathan as you will read in her story, is an inspiration to us all and gives us real hope for the future. Nathan is preparing to go to University in the US, but she needs some help paying for testing fees and other visa fees. If you can donate to Nathan she would greatly appreciate it. Here is a link to her fundraiser: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=AXYE6G29K97HE.
I am a girl of twenty-one years old, born of a mother and father, whose father died in 2002. I am the forth child in our family, where we are six. I was born in Rwanda in 1995 and after two years, in 1997, my parents went to Uganda, where my father died.So I studied my Primary Level in Uganda, where I achieved second in my grade. I continued my Ordinary Level in Uganda, but I sometimes lacked school fees because we had many children at home. My Mommy is a peasant, so she had no money to pay for all six children. So I tried to perform in class and the school gave me a scholarship to study for the remaining three years, from Senior Two to Senior Four.
Then, in 2015, I went for Senior Five in Uganda but I lacked school fees. Nevertheless, I sat for the whole year until in Third Term, when I came to Rwanda. So I finished my Advanced Level in Rwanda up to 2015. But in all that life in Rwanda, I lived by renting. I sometimes used to leave school and go for work to get school fees. I sometimes had not much food, but I would use my money to buy candles so I could do my homework at night.
After Senior Five, I became the Head Girl at my school, GS Muzizi. I could not pay school fees the whole year, but I remained, struggling with paying my rent and looking for what to eat. I thank God that the Headmaster and Bursar were patient with me and allowed me to continue my studies even when I missed the fees. Somehow, I graduated from secondary at the top of my class.After graduating, I was still struggling, but I continued my prayers to God to help me go study and continue my education. Recently, I was accepted into a program that can help me on the way to these goals. Africa's Tomorrow is an organization from the United States that offers guidance and funding to aspiring, ascendent girls from rural families. I was blessed to be one of sixteen girls across the continent who was chosen for the 2016 group of candidates. You can read more about all of us here:http://www.africastomorrow.org/2016-students.html.Now, I am focused on studying very hard for my Test of English as a Foreign Language. If I can pass, I will be able to move on to applying to different colleges and universities in the United States and then finally reaching my bigger dreams. I have too many goals for why I need education, but I will talk about a few of them here.First, I want to be a doctor, studying and specifying in different diseases that affect both old and young people in Africa. For example, HIV, diabetes, meningitis, and blood pressure. Another goal is to set up medical training institutes in my country, where many doctors and nurses can be trained for the betterment of Rwandese lives and Africa at large. I want to teach other people to do the things I will learn at university.I also dream of writing books and publishing. One part of this is making research on different diseases and looking for some medicines or cures, then publishing what I discover. But also I want to do advertising and public health announcements for teaching people to fight against diseases, such as the ones mentioned above and many others.My last goal is working and supporting the Non-Government Organizations, for example the Red Cross, in helping more damaged and sick Africans. Especially I want to be a job-creator and entrepreneur for Rwandans and other Africans in the domain of health.Of course, I cannot do any of this alone. In particular, I need your assistance with covering my fees for taking tests, sending applications, getting my US visa, and so on. It is astonishing to think about how the cost of taking the TOEFL exam one time is almost equal to the fees for four years of secondary school! You can help me by donating money to the following account:https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=AXYE6G29K97HE.I especially ask for your breadth, not depth. If every person who reads this can contribute even a few dollars, it would mean so much and take me so far. For instance, each person can donate the amount that reflects the year you graduated college (like $20.15 for the class of 2015). I have so much appreciation for the people who have donated already. I feel happy and excited to have many people caring about me. It was so surprising to get support from those who I do not know. It inspires me to continue dreaming. Thanks to them and may God bless.Finally, I would like to offer some advice to other young women across Africa. I hope many of them -- especially from Rwanda and Uganda -- will follow after me with Africa's Tomorrow and other similar programs. I want them to know that they can reach their dreams and visions, as long as they believe in themselves. Always do your best. Have self-esteem, determination, and hope. As long as we wish and work, we can change the world. Thank you for reading my story and supporting my journey.