Posted on March 18, 2016
Comments Off on CHANGING LIVES … THE STORY OF METHORD
Kagera is a region in the north-west of Tanzania, bordering with Rwanda and Burundi to the west and the shores of Lake Victoria to the east. It is a beautiful, rural mountainous area of lush forests. Kagera is the region worst affected by HIV/Aids in Tanzania and is economically poor. As a result it has the highest numbers of HIV/Aids orphans in the country.
The B8 is the main road from the south that passes through Biharamulo on the way north to Bukoba, the capital of Kagera region about 150 kilometres away. Bukoba lies on the shores of Lake Victoria and is 60 kilometres from the border with Uganda.
There is no road to Ruziba.
As you turn off the main road going north 15 kilometres from Biharamulo, you come to a dirt road which ends one kilometre away at the small village hall, a dilapidated relic of the early days of independence from colonial rule. Behind the hall is the footpath that takes you to the village. The footpath narrows further hinterland as you make your way, dwarfed by surrounding tall grasses, deep into the bush. The first mud huts are about two kilometres from the town hall and spread deeper into the forest. In this vast mountain area, the huts are well spaced out, some about a hundred metres apart, a brisk walk from one to the next.
Methord Kagoma lives about seven kilometres hinterland from the village hall and eight kilometres from the main road. He shares a small hut with his brother. His mother has her own hut in their compound. His two older sisters are married and live further away. He was born 19 years ago but never knew his father who died a month before his birth. His mother, a widow, did not go to school and scratches a living as a peasant farmer. The youngest of three children, he is the only one who went to school. The primary school was nearby (about three kilometres walk), but when he gained admission to secondary school, a feat in itself, he had to walk eight kilometres each day to school. He passed the Form 4 national exams with very good grades and went on to do A-levels which he passed two years later. He is the first child from Ruziba village to study up to A-levels and pass the exams. He gained admissions and last September joined the Ruaha Catholic University (RUCU), Iringa. He is studying for a bachelor’s of science degree in Education with Computer Science. He loves reading and enjoys playing football.
He may have lived in a rural village all his life but Methord is a dignified young man. At the gathering held for me in the village hall in Ruziba on my last visit, he allowed everyone else to speak then put up his hand and in clear spoken English (only learnt as a subject at school) he thanked ACT and then said a prayer for everyone who through their donation have given him the opportunity of education. It was a moving speech and I was touched.
ACT is transforming the lives of disadvantaged orphans, one child at a time.
Kunle is ACT Director