“It is unbelievable that my dream of becoming a teacher has finally come true,” says Mukkuli Zimana, 24. Mukkuli believes that without the financial help she received from World Vision through the Every Last One (ELO) Education program, she would not have completed her education. “World Vision made it possible.”
Mukkuli is now a teacher trainee at the same primary school she attended as a child. Her success is not just a personal accomplishment, but an achievement that is inspiring the whole community.
Parents from her community are now at the forefront of encouraging their girl children to pursue an education. They have also stopped the practice of marrying off their daughters early. A member of the community and Mukkuli’s former primary school teacher, Mr. Cheelo had this to say, “As you are aware, this community has had challenges as far as the education of a girl child is concerned.” He noted, “Parents are now able to tell their girl children that, ‘Look at Mukkuli, don’t you want to be a teacher like her?’” He added that even the girls themselves are able to say, “One of us made it. We can, too.”
Mukkuli’s achievement is also a big boost to her family’s income and will help break the cycle of poverty. In fact, what makes her story so inspirational is that many in her community know that her family is poor and have seen how Mukkuli’s mother, Alphonsina, has struggled. Mukkuli’s father died when she was a little girl. Her mother could not manage to feed the children, let alone take them to school. To support Mukkuli and her two siblings, Alphonsina started a small business of selling fish. The business made a profit of only $20 per month. For Alphonsina, putting food on the table was an enormous task, let alone paying for the children’s school fees.
|Alphonsina & Mukkuli share a happy moment together
Despite financial struggles, Mukkuli completed high school with very good results, but kept her sights set on pursuing more education. She wanted to go to college and become a teacher. After a brief stay with relatives in the city, her eyes opened and she believed that she could become a teacher. Not knowing where the college money would come from, she applied and was accepted to college. Now she faced her biggest huddle to raise the required money. “My joy of being accepted at college was short-lived because when I saw the list of requirements, I became disheartened,” she says. Her mother sacrificed what little money she could gather, but that was still not enough.
When Mr. Cheelo told her about World Vision’s girls scholarship program, she applied immediately and was accepted. “It was a huge blessing because I could now study without my mother and sisters going hungry,” says Mukkuli. Asked what motivated him to recommend Mukkuli for the scholarship program, Mr. Cheelo said, “She has the best results, she’s determined, and her family is very poor.”
Mukkuli is profoundly grateful to the donors who support World Vision’s programs. “I am so grateful and I pray that God continually blesses you all for your generosity,” she says.