By Francisca Muteti Ndinda
My name is Francisca Muteti Ndinda, a second-year student at Gulu University. I’m pursuing a Master of Science in Agri Enterprises Development. Being a beneficiary of the scholarship under the MasterCard Foundation has not only transformed my life, it has also improved the lives of many around me.
Before joining the programme, I used to struggle financially, to take care of my parents and also pay tuition for my niece. But with the monthly stipend that started coming in from the scholarship, my life situation has significantly improved for the better. In addition, I have helped my sister enroll to a fashion and design school that she recently completed and is now able to take care of herself financially. I strongly believe that ensuring my family has access to education opportunities will help in creating a better future for them and the community at large.
Coming from a region with great potential for fruit production, in 2019 I started a project to grow the Hass variety of avocado and tree tomatoes tree.
However, the project did not succeed as the monitoring was not poor. I then decided to put it on hold as I thought through other opportunities I could take advantage of. However, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted most services, including schools, which has also forced me to put my plans business plans on hold.
On a positive note though, I have used the period of being out of school to acquire new skills through the various online courses and trainings that I have been participating in. For instance, I am now familiar with different software for data analysis, which is a great asset for my career as a researcher. More so, the lockdown period has given me ample time to perfect and complete my thesis. I can confidently say that this has been a very productive period, as it has helped me discover more potential that I possibly could not have realized in a normal setting.
To sum it up, the MasterCard Foundation has had a significant impact to many– both directly and indirectly. As a direct beneficiary, I am forever grateful to the Foundation for the generous support.