Waterford has awarded a scholarship to Patrick Ndahimana beginning in 2018 (Form 1). The 13 year-old refugee was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo and lived there for 2 years before he moved to Rwanda together with his mother. In Rwanda they lived with a family friend until his mother was able to get in touch with Patrick’s grandfather. They then moved to Tanzania, and later to Mozambique, before they joined his grandfather in Swaziland. His grandfather had limited means but he nonetheless supported them. Patrick now resides in Ezulwini, Swaziland, together with his mother, grandfather, and his two younger brothers.
“When I came here in 2011, I was enrolled at Mbabane Lutheran Primary school for grade 1 because that is where I could get the free primary education. When I started school, I was very scared because I was the only non-Swazi child schooling there and sometimes my peers would ridicule me because of my surname but as time went by I got used to it and I didn't care anymore about what they said. As I was schooling there my grandfather helped me with my studies since I had started my grade 1 late during the second term. Ever since I was in primary I have been performing well thanks to the help of my grandfather,” says Patrick.
Patrick was very excited when he found out that he was one of Swaziland’s top students in the grade 7 results. “When I got my results, we were searching for space in form 1 and then my mother’s friend told us that at Waterford there is a scholarship programme for needy and yet deserving students. We then came to Waterford and I did the entrance test and passed it. So that is how I was able to get scholarship to study here at Waterford,” he says.
Patrick loves the environment at Waterford. “During the first week of my stay here it has been great and I appreciate the scholarship I was offered because without it I wouldn't be here right now. The teachers here are wonderful and even my school mates are welcoming. The Waterford education is important to me because I heard that if you school here, you can get admitted to the best universities in the world,” he concluded.
Patrick’s career goal is to become a civil engineer. He is also interested in basketball, swimming and soccer.