By: Cia Martins, Sasamani Intern.
As Sasamani launches its annual student sponsorship campaign: Ripples of Change, one of the Sasamani sponsored students shares how the sponsorship impacted her life.
Siaba, 24 years, recently graduated from the University of Dodoma. Siaba joined the Sasamani sponsorship program in 2014 when she was at Kingani Middle School. Since then, Siaba has gained a bachelor's degree in Biology and intends to pursue a career in public health research. Her goal is to join the fight to prevent disease in her community and in Tanzania at large. Siaba explained to us that her area of expertise is in "causative agents, such as vectors and other microorganisms, that can be cultured, so as to assess the effective measures of controlling them".
Siaba shares that when she joined Sasamani, her intention was to "invest all my efforts into my studies" as she wants to become a contributing woman to society. She notes that she still has a way to go, but those who work with her have no doubt she will exceed her own expectations. Siaba's commitment to her community, to her learning, and to her future exemplifies Sasamani's mission: To empower women and girls to shape their own futures and thereby cultivating happier, healthier, and more prosperous communities.
Like many sponsored students, Siaba's journey did not start smoothly. When she was introduced to Sasamani, her family was unable to afford her school fees for the following year. This educational insecurity took a toll, and she began performing poorly in her studies. After working with Gladness, our Education Director, and through the correspondence with her sponsor, Siaba started to get more confidence in her ability to achieve her educational goals. Siaba's grades improved remarkably. Siaba ended up graduating from high school first in her class!
In speaking with us, Siaba said that one of her favorite things about Sasamani was the ability to "meet with different people, explore new knowledge, and ways to overcome life challenges". Committed to the community of Sasamani students, Siaba encouraged Sasamani to facilitate more gatherings between students from the different schools, so that students can have conversations about "how to be innovative after completing their studies, and create an even more expansive social education". Like many Sasamani students, Siaba is engaged, perseverant, and ambitious.
Siaba is one of the six students who graduated from the Sasamani program this summer. They have achieved the educational goals they set for themselves. And while we celebrate their triumphs and the ways in which they persevered, we also acknowledge that their journeys are just beginning. Currently, Sasamani and the graduates are exploring how support looks like in this new phase of their lives.
As we embark on the sponsorship campaign for 2021: Ripples of Change, we want to thank our generous donors for ensuring that all 75 Sasamani sponsored students have the opportunity and motivation to overcome obstacles with a renewed sense of self-confidence, made possible by the security of education.
"The Sasamani Foundation is a special organization without which many of us, in one way or another, could fail to reach our goals and dreams. I would like to take this opportunity to give a special thanks to all Sasamani supporters for the sponsorship on behalf of all Sasamani students". - Siaba, Sasamani Sponsored Student.
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