I am 30 years old. I was born in a poor family of five kids in a South. My parents separated in 1997. I still don’t know what happened with them. Our mother raised us since then. My mother would go to cultivate for other people for food. In 1998 I passed the national examination but my mother couldn’t raise enough money to send me to school. She tried everywhere but she couldn’t get money.I was supposed to go to Ecole Secondaire of Sumba in Nyamagabe. I became a houseboy of a teacher for 3 years. I worked for him for 2 years but he never paid me. The day I quit my job I walked from Huye to Rusatira to look for another job. I found a job in a restaurant and worked there for 3 years. One day my mother learned that I was on Protection and Care of Families against HIV/AIDS (PACFA) for a scholarship. I was selected by the sector authorities among poor children.The kids were awesome they shared with me what they had until the money from PACFA was released the second trimester.When I started Secondary School it was difficult in primary school we leant in Kinyarwanda. I didn’t speak a word of French. The first trimester was hard by I got 60% of grades, the second trimester I got 65% and the third trimester I got 70%. I had the best marks and got a government scholarship to Kigali Health Institute.
In 2009-2012 I went on exchange program in Tanzania at the Muhimbiri University of Health Sciences and Allied Health Sciences. that’s where I leant to make artificial limbs. Advanced diploma in prosthetics and orthotics. I got a job and was able to build a house for my mother. I want to go back to school and get a bachelor degree.There are only 2 people in Rwanda with a bachelor degree in orthotics and prosthetics. I want to be the third one. I love this job and I want to keep improving myself. Our work needs to be improved regularly, There is always a new technology in prosthetics that comes out and people who have disabilities in Rwanda also deserve to have access to these improved services.
Photo: Alice Kayibanda