Tariro is very excited to announce that our student Daphine Sikalela has been awarded a prestigious Presidential Scholarship for university study in South Africa. The presidential scholarship is a Zimbabwean government initiative that gives students from under-privileged families an opportunity to study in other, mostly African, countries. Although some students travel as far away as India or China, students are typically placed in universities in South Africa, where Daphine has been placed at the University of Venda.
While Daphine’s family was able to contribute $200 toward her costs, Daphine would not have been able to accept this prestigious award without financial assistance from Tariro. To ensure that Daphine would be able to benefit from her scholarship, Tariro contributed $1,060 to administrative and travel-related costs involved in getting Daphine to the University of Venda, including photocopying and certifying required documents, obtaining a passport, medical, and police clearance, and her travel to South Africa.
Daphine left last weekend, just in time for the start classes on February 8th! Our program coordinator, Fadzi, spoke to Daphine shortly after her arrival in South Africa, and was reassured to hear that her travel had gone smoothly. We’re looking forward to receiving an update from her soon!
I’d like to take a minute to share Daphine’s story with you, as she recorded it in her hero book in last year’s empowerment camp. Daphine’s story documents how she met me after I stayed with her family briefly during a fieldwork trip to Zimbabwe in 2008. One of our top students and most talented writers, Daphine has benefited so immensely from Tariro’s sponsorship, and we’re incredibly proud of her. Here is Daphine’s story:
“Just when I was cold, and I thought that was the end of it, everything had gotten so dark and I couldn’t see the light. I remember crying so many nights in my bed thinking what tomorrow was going to be like. The death of my dad had destroyed me. I couldn’t help but reminisce about the good times we shared. The only fresh memory about him I always pictured was him in hospital on his death-bed, when I walked closer to him and held his hand he cried, he cried like he already knew he was dying and I was going to stay suffering.
“You know rock bottom? Yeah… that’s what it was, but it’s amazing how things just turn out to be at times. Jennifer Kyker came to my rescue after hearing a voice saying I can’t send you to school anymore… you know whose voice that was? That was Winny, my mum. She had struggled so hard to pay for my fees but she just couldn’t do it anymore, used clothes weren’t selling anymore, that was her job.
“When Jennifer came to live with us at our home that was the beginning of everything. She offered to send me back to school again, not just a school, but a boarding school. I knew I now had a greater chance of doing well and moving forward.
“Working hard in life is a good thing. Determination and perseverance is also important in my life since I am working toward achieving a goal. Setting my goals will help me become someone in life.”
I especially love the illustration in which Daphine shows an entire crowd of Tariro supporters, friends, and family backing the effort to send her back to school. We’re so happy to have one of our students win such a prestigious award, and we wish Daphine the best of luck in school.
I’ll close by reminding you, if you haven’t already done so, to please visit our JustGive page to make a one-time donation, or to become a monthly donor. Tariro’s work with Zimbabwean girls is getting amazing results, but we can’t continue to do it without your support!!!!