“I believe that no one has a power to shatter my dreams unless I allow that myself, and I choose not to give up” said Theresia, a Kisa Alumna during the most recent Kisa Alumni Network Lunch in Arusha.
Theresia is a first year student at Mwenge Catholic University pursuing a Bachelor of Education in Arts. Her dream is to become a secondary school teacher so as she can give back to her community.
Theresia grew up in Mwanza, which is in the Northern part of Tanzania. She was raised by her Uncle, since her mother passed away when she was only two months old. Since then, her Uncle has been the one taking care of her. She has never had an opportunity to meet her father.
When she graduated from high school and the Kisa Project, Theresia got an opportunity to attend university. At that time, her Uncle was facing a financial crisis and wasn’t able to pay for her tuition fee. She didn’t receive a government loan either, making it very difficult for her to go to university. But that didn’t stop Theresia. Resilience and resourcefulness are qualities strengthened by Kisa. She asked for help from her relatives, and they were able to provide money that covered her accommodation expenses and transport from Mwanza to Kilimanjaro.
Theresia’s university life was very tough since she had not enough money to survive, having only one meal a day while attending classes. It was stressful knowing that her school fees had not been paid and she still hoped that she would get a government education loan. However, the connections and experience that come with being a Kisa Alumna made her university life easier. During that time, she applied for an AfricAid scholarship and she was one of the 52 Scholars awarded one.
In addition, Theresia was able to use the entrepreneurship skills she gained during her Kisa lessons. Her friend Martha, who is also a Kisa Alumna at Mwenge Catholic University, taught her how to make accessories by using beads and threads and also how to decorate Maasai traditional blankets with beads. (Read Martha’s story.) She has since been able to sell the products to her fellow students from different universities and secondary schools in Kilimanjaro and Arusha Regions. The profit that Theresia generates helps her to buy food and stationary.
With the help of AfricAid and her sister Kisa Alumna, Theresia is now well on her journey pursuing her teaching career at Mwenge Catholic University.