Loness Eliya – story of a sponsored University Student

Loness Eliya outside Nkhata-Bay district hospital in the Northern region of Malawi during practical work-second year at Kamuzu College of Nursing (KCN)

Loness Eliya outside Nkhata-Bay district hospital in the Northern region of Malawi during practical work-second year at Kamuzu College of Nursing (KCN)

Loness is a student African Vision Malawi / The Landirani Trust has sponsored through secondary school and university studies.  Here, in her own words, is her story:

“Loness Eliya, born on January 18, 1994 from the warm heart of Africa Malawi especially in the capital city of Malawi Lilongwe in the rural part of the district Traditional Authority (T/A) M’bang’ombe. Born in a family of five children two boys and three girls: Salatiel, Grace, Lunati and Devess. I am the fourth born in the family with both parents alive. I consider myself lucky because I have been raised by both parents in at least a peaceful environment because despite that I was born in a poor family but my parents made sure everyone is happy by providing what they could afford to their children. It is that heart of my parents that gives me hope that even though you can go through a lot of challenges in life but you can still live a happy life with the little you have.

Though my parents are poor they managed to send all the children to school, to start primary education which is for free in government schools. Both my sisters Grace and Lunati managed to reach standard eight but they did not proceed to secondary school because my parents had no money to support them. Lunati repeated in standard eight with the hope of finding a scholarship but she did not make it. It was the hardworking spirit of my sister that made me to learn being a hard worker too despite that life was not full of honey.

As I was passing through my primary education, I encountered a lot of challenges for example in 2002 by then I was in standard two we were told by my parents that we should stop going to school because of hunger in Malawi and we had no food at home that made me to repeat the class in 2003. In 2005 my parents separated because my father thought he could not manage to take care of us and the solution was to end the marriage and lead his own life. This made us to move to my grandparents’ home where life was the worst. As a result going to school was a challenge but my sister encouraged me to going to school though sometimes we could go without any breakfast at all but I still moved on.

Fortunate enough my parents reunited, that was a relief to me as I had an opportunity to continue my schooling at M’khalapadzuwa primary school. In 2007 I moved to M’ban’gombe primary school to finish the senior section of primary education as M’khalapadzuwa had junior section only. Although I was moving forward through primary education, I had no hope that I will make it to secondary education because by then my elder sister had no opportunity to start form one. This was because my parents had no resources to support her and no one was found for her support.

Hope came in standard eight in 2009 when I heard that Landirani Trust organization was helping the orphans and vulnerable people in their communities around T/A M’bango’ombe and one of the projects was to help people with their education starting from Community Based Childcare Centres (CBCCs). We were promised in my class that if anyone do well and get selected to a boarding secondary school and they are in need of financial
support the organization will support them.

Since it was my desire to go to secondary school, I worked extra hard to find an opportunity to move on and make my parents proud of me always. Fortunate enough with God’s grace I made it to Nkhamenya Girls Secondary school one of the national secondary schools in Malawi. I had the chance to write entrance examination for the Landirani Trust Scholarship and I passed. They started supporting me, I was very happy as my dreams had come true. I give my sincere thanks with a grateful heart to Patrick Goney through Landirani Trust who took the responsibility to support me through my secondary education.

I got transferred to Lilongwe Girls secondary in the third week of my form one and continued there up to form four. I worked hard because I was inspired by the number of students who finished there secondary education and had an opportunity to attend university of Malawi to do different careers. Since form one, I had a desire to become a nurse and help people in hospitals and communities so I worked hard to accomplish my dream.

Despite that Landirani Trust was supporting me with school fees and school resources for example stationary and some groceries, challenges were still there as sometimes my parents could not manage to give me transport money from school. To find transport, sometimes I could sell some items to find transport to go back home as by that time Landirani was not giving transport to students. All in all I managed to finish my secondary education in 2013 and I passed with the best grades that I had an opportunity to write university entrance exams. Since my long term goal was to become a nurse, my choice was to study nursing and midwifery at Kamuzu College of Nursing (KCN).

Lucky enough I was selected to go to the KCN I desired for so long. It was like Heaven on Earth because what I thought to be impossible became possible. As I was waiting for the opening of the first semester, I decided to apply for a vacancy of a librarian at Landirani Trust because of financial problems at home. Although I did not make it I was considered to support CBCC as nursery school teacher and I was also volunteering to work in the library in the afternoon. I still volunteer these tasks during holidays.

Landirani Trust still stands by my side through this journey and am now finishing my second year in the program. I give my thanks to my university sponsors Helen Clarke, Gaynor Cook and Toni Russell for the help given to me in my tertiary education. I also give my thanks to Heather Palmer for founding the organization in Malawi as it has changed me from a hopeless person to someone who has bright future and full of hope. Now am working hard so that I should graduate with the best grades which will take me to the second degree and my desire is to do what the Landirani Trust is doing for me to others.

Lastly, I give my thanks to the education manager of Landirani Trust Mr Jack Maduka for his hardworking spirit and encouragement without forgetting every staff member of Landirani Trust for their support. I thank my parents too for their support. To God be the glory for His love!”

 

We are thankful to Loness for sharing her life story with us.  We are thankful that Patrick, Helen, Gaynor and Toni were and are able to support Loness.

Please help us to support other students like Loness!  £40 a month makes a massive difference to support a university student.  Email us at info@africanvision.org.uk or you can:

 

Figure 2:Second year during practical work at Nkhata-Bay district hospital.

Figure 2:Second year during practical work at Nkhata-Bay district hospital.