A Life Transformed – Ezekiel hopes to give back

by ACT

  • Posted on September 20, 2019

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Ezekiel (centre) with Stella (Project Officer) & Fr Honoratus (J&P Director)

Ezekiel Manyakenda is the son of small hold farmers from Nyamirembe, a village in North-western Tanzania, near the shores of Lake Victoria. Growing up with his mother, father and three siblings, life was hard but stable. Ezekiel was able to attend school and thrived, excelling in his studies.

When ACT met Ezekiel in 2015, the situation had changed. His father passed away when he was 16, putting huge emotional and financial pressure on the family. Since the family’s income mostly comes from working their small farm of one acre, school and other activities had to make way just so they could try and grow enough food to survive. The situation deteriorated even further, when persistent poor weather caused their crops to fail. Although Ezekiel’s mother tried hard, her low income meant she couldn’t provide; school fees, uniforms and necessary school items. Fortunately, a teacher had become so impressed by Ezekiel’s academic ability, he donated his own son’s school uniform and helped support Ezekiel to stay in school. Sadly, that kind teacher was transferred to another district, leaving Ezekiel’s hopes of continuing his studies in ruins.

It was about this time that ACT became involved with the Manyakenda family. As with most of the orphans and widows we support in Kagera region, their plight was brought to our attention by a local charity, Justice and Peace, which works in collaboration with ACT and made a case for their support.  As a result ACT we were able to provide all of Ezekiel’s school needs as well as registering his family on the Community Health Insurance Fund (CHF).  With CHF cover the family are protected under the government health insurance scheme which provides access to medical care and pays for prescriptions, should any of them fall ill. Furthermore, the family was automatically enrolled on the ACT income generation scheme. This provided the family with a goat that can help them generate more income through sale of milk it produces and sale of its offspring. Thanks to this support and with Ezekiel’s hard work, he passed his National Examinations and last year gained a place at the University of Dodoma, where he is studying English.

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