“My family has made many sacrifices to allow me to focus on education throughout my primary school life. Due to the increment of the living cost in Addis Ababa, my parents were unable to fulfill my educational needs. As a result, my father went out of Addis Ababa in search of a job and started living there. He visits his family once in three months. Now, I have the opportunity to become one of the MasterCard Foundation Scholars. The program inspired me to realize my vision and my parents’ dream.”
“I started school when I was thirteen because we had very little money in my family. I felt bad because I could not read and write. I told my dad I could not continue and in year three I took the last position. My father told me I should believe in myself. The next year I was fifth. In my leaving exams I was among the best.”
“For the most part of my life, I’ve lived with uncle. I lost both parents when I was very young. I lost my dad when I was five years old and my mom when I was nine years old.
My uncle was able to pay school fees, but sometimes pocket money was an issue. I could go two dollars for the whole semester as pocket money. And I couldn’t put this on my uncle. I couldn’t say, “Why didn’t you give me money?”
But I said, “You know, he’s done enough. He’s given me school fees. The only thing I have to do is to make sure that I use this real resource I have to be able to do education.”
My mother is the head of the household and she is engaged in a petty trade which is not adequate to fulfill the family’s needs and wants. My father is jobless due to serious health problems. Due to the economic challenge of my family, I encountered several problems in my life which affected my academic performance. The day I received my scholarship was really an exceptional day for me. I felt that I would share the burden of my mother. Now, I started to exert my potential on my academic issues and strive to score a very good result in my education. I will fulfill my dream.
“You need to look at the girls as your children. We want them to lead good lives, not to live a life that will leave marks on them.”
“Throughout my education my father has made my uniform. Sometimes we went to school without shoes but my dad never allowed us to go to school in a torn uniform. It would always be mended.
Whatever the circumstances, there was always encouragement at home. My father had dropped out of high school and didn’t want us to do the same. “You see me as I am,” he would say. “I am a tailor. There is nothing I can offer you but to encourage you to go to school and learn. That is all I have for you.”
“I can say my mum is my role model. She used to work very hard. I cannot really tell how my mum afforded to pay for all our fees, how she used to do it. She used to encourage me. It used to make me focus a lot because I knew my mum had to toil so I had to work hard to give her the best results.”
“Education is very important. I’m from an indigenous community, from a forgotten district. My parents are proud of me. My father would tell me, because we’re from a farming community, “Learn how to file a machete and, as well, how to write.”