I am Zephaniah Batamu. I was born on 30th June 1994 in a family of three children, two boys and a girl. We were raised by both parents up to 2002 when my father died while I was only six years old. My education had been of great concern to me since primary school days. My mother tried her best to do piece works from different people to find basic needs for me and my two siblings.
I had sat for my Primary School Leaving Examinations several times and each time I was successful and got selected to a secondary school but due to lack of funds I failed to go. For instance, in 2007 I was selected to Namitete Secondary School, in 2008 to Dzenza, in 2009 to Mtendere and in 2010 to Robert Blake Secondary School. Finally in 2011, I when I was selected to Likuni Boys’ Catholic Secondary School together with my young brother Edwin, I found a well-wisher from Roman Catholic Church who paid my school fees up to Form 4. Edwin dropped out of school when his sponsor died when we were in Form 2, term 1. My sister, Memory, was selected to Likuni Girls’ Catholic Secondary School when I was in Form 3. Her Primary School teacher linked her to Mwanawamzako Organisation from the Roman Catholic Church which is paying her school fees.
My high school sponsor could only support me for high school studies. I was selected to join The Polytechnic University of Malawi. My mother could not afford to support my university education. I applied for a loan from The Higher Education Students Loans and Grants Board which lent me only half of the fees, i.e., MWK200 000.00. One Pastor funded my education with MWK150 000.00 for the second semester. In addition, a well-wisher, assisted me with accommodation. Sadly, a day before the start of the end-of-year examinations, I received a message about the death of my mother on 6th November 2017. Despite the sad news, I wrote and passed the examinations and proceeded into the second year. But the situation worsened because the Pastor could no longer assist me as he too was facing financial difficulties and the well-wisher transferred to another city which left me with no accommodation. I was at the brink of withdrawing from my studies. When I talked to the Pastor about my predicament, he referred me to another Pastor who graciously assisted me with MWK260 000.00 for me to be retained in the University that semester. Then the new pastor introduced me to ReachOut Education Support Foundation which accepted my application and is now providing me with full and steady sponsorship since January 2019 (Third Year). Now I am at peace and enjoying my studies. Thanks to ReachOut for the unconditional love shown to me, even when I lost all my personal belongings due to the fire that gutted down our hostel; you provided me with extra cash to recoup some of the items. I am very happy because now my dreams of better and brighter days are about to be realised. With the knowledge and training acquired I should be self-reliant shortly, and be able to positively impact on the society.
For me ReachOut Foundation is my pillar, for without it I would have withdrawn from my studies already.