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Pasco, the Genius!

Pasco is a form three secondary school student. He passed the 2022/2023 National Junior Exams with flying colors! Not just a cliché; he managed to get six As and five Bs. Yes, eleven distinctions in all the eleven subjects that he sat for. Rwandese by nationality, Pasco arrived with his parents at Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Malawi in 2016. There is Hope awarded him a scholarship in his first year of secondary education. “The scholarship helped me with school fees and groceries that my parents would not manage to get for me. We have also been assisted by the Education Coordinator with guidance”, Pasco says. He plans to get good grades in form four and go to the university to study medicine. “The scholarship will really help me achieve my goals; as well as help me to support my family and community”, he says.  He believes that access to quality healthcare is a fundamental right and wants to contribute towards improving healthcare infrastructure in his community. With the scholarship, he also hopes to gain the necessary skills and knowledge to address health disparities and provide equal opportunities for everyone, regardless of their socio-economic background. Ultimately, he aspires to become a role model for his peers and prove that with determination and support, anyone can overcome obstacles and achieve their dreams. Why medicine was is career choice? Pasco has a passion, a passion that is fueled by the death of his father. He lives with his single mother who is raising five brothers. The mother is a subsistence farmer, like most family heads in Dzaleka and Dowa district. She had challenges taking care of his educational needs and felt relief when There is Hope came in for Pasco’s education.

 “My father died in 2018 at Dzaleka Refugee Camp with unknown sickness. I didn’t know what he was suffering from. Therefore, I made up my mind to become a medical doctor so that I should be helping people like my late father”.

With the support of There is Hope, Pasco’s dream of becoming a medical doctor is now within reach. He is grateful for the opportunity to pursue his education and hopes to make a difference in his community by providing much-needed medical assistance. By offering his services with warmth and compassion, Pasco aims to address the nutritional needs of his family and the medical needs of his community and honor the memory of his late father. “What do you like most about the scholarship?” We asked him. “The scholarship has provided me with financial support, which has alleviated the burden of tuition fees and allowed me to fully focus on my studies The mentorship program is also great as I have been able to meet with mentors who guide us. The program has helped me with ideas on how I can pursue my career goals. Additionally, the mentorship program has not only connected me with experienced professionals but also given me valuable insights and advice that have shaped my academic and personal growth”, he paused.   

Even with the scholarship in his pocket, he still has some challenges; “At first, as a refugee, my fears were that I may not be able to fully progress with education should There is Hope’s scholarship end. I also feared that I wouldn’t be able to get a job in Malawi as the law restricts refugees from attaining employment, until recently when I have been informed that refugees are allowed by law to practice medicine or education in Malawi. On the other hand, this information has provided him with a sense of relief and motivation to continue pursuing my education and career goals”, he explains. He now feels more confident about his future prospects in Malawi and is determined to make a positive impact in the healthcare field.

Pasco is a participant of the Boys Secondary School Scholarship Program from There is Hope which is supported by MBStayton LLC, USA. This program began in 2022, which sums up our inclusion and integration efforts, as previously, we were offering secondary school scholarships to only girls. Our partnership with MBStayton caters to 15 secondary school boys until they finish their secondary education. This initiative aims to provide equal educational opportunities for both boys and girls, promoting gender equality in education. By expanding our scholarship program to include boys, we are fostering a more inclusive and diverse learning environment. This partnership with MBStayton LLC, USA demonstrates our commitment to empowering disadvantaged youth and breaking down barriers to education for all.