In 2012, Kiza was accepted into the secondary school scholarship program offered through our partner organization, Project Wezesha. This was back when secondary school still incurred fees. Project Wezesha supported Kiza as she attended Forms 1-4 at Kagongo Secondary School. Somehow, we lost track of Kiza. This past December as Lucas, Madaga and I were going over all of our student data, I asked “What ever happened to Kiza?” Lucas told me that she didn’t pass the national exams, but he didn’t know what she ended up doing. Among other students, Kiza was a student that Lucas was tasked with tracking down for our records.
Much of our correspondence with our students is conducted by Lucas — and as most students don’t have their own phone and no one has email or easy access to computers — that requires Lucas to track them down by going into their respective villages and visiting them at home or school. Many of the students will reach out to Lucas when they have a need - they’ll find someone with a phone and call him.
In the case of Kiza, well - we found her! Girls Education International is happy to announce that we will be supporting Kiza as she pursues post-secondary education. But her story isn’t that simple —Let’s hear it from her directly. Below is the story she sent via letter to Lucas. (Translation from Swahili to English by Lucas)
My name is Kiza. I was born on April, 26, 1998 at Kagongo village. My parents had 8 Children - I have four brothers, three sisters. I’m the third child from my parents; my father completed standard seven and my mother also finished standard seven. One of my brothers is studying at Mbeya University. He is studying Education. My father is a farmer and my mother is a farmer too.
I was a student under Project Wezesha from beginning. After finishing secondary school in Kagongo, I fail the last national examination. When I was in primary school, my mother was teaching me every day when I came home from school and my mother was home from the farm. Even with her support, I failed the national exams in secondary school. I was crying every day after result.
I requested to my father to help me to get a chance to repeat school. My father allowed that I repeated at Bigabilo Secondary School. One day when i was at school at Bigabilo, I met with my brother Lucas Lameck. That time he was walking on foot to Mgaraganza Village. I was calling him like crazy on the road; my brother stopped and I greeted him. I explained to him my situation and he told me to keep studying; Project Wezesha will continue to help me.
Lucas gave me his phone number; I was very happy because I could meet my plan to be a teacher inspired by my mother teaching me when I was in primary school. On November, I did the national examination for second time; this time I passed the examination! I placed in Division 3. I was very happy to find out the government choose me to go teachers college.
I went to my document to find Lucas’ phone number, but I lost it. I was crying every day. When my mother came home from the farm, she saw me crying and she started to cry with me. I went to my father’s door every morning and cried in his room. So my father borrowed money to help me get started in school.
So now the college needs the second round of fees. My father now still pays back his original debt, so please I request Project Wezesha to continue to help me to meet my plan. My study will take two years 2019 and 2020.