My name is Lindah Damiano, the last born in a family of nine children. I was born on 8 July 2000 in Ntcheu and raised by a brother in Blantyre due to loss of my parents. My father passed away the same year I was born, and I lost my mother when I was six years old. I did my primary school education at Misesa Primary School and got selected to Soche Hill Secondary School in 2015 where I obtained the Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) in 2019. My secondary school education was not easy as I encountered some challenges on the way, like lack of school fees due to the joblessness of my brother, who was responsible for paying school fees. Secondly, my brother is the eldest among the children in our family but had no wife at the time; therefore, I had to take care of everything in the house. Thirdly, I was walking a distance of about 7 km to and from school every day, since my brother could not afford to place me in a boarding house. This affected my studies since I had not enough time to study properly at home. Although life was hard, I only had one goal, and that was “to be the first in the family to go to university” as none of my siblings has ever made it.
My dream was to become a nurse one day because I have a passion to help people. To achieve this, I used each and every opportunity found to study at school, making use of the free time given to spend in the library. I never stopped working hard knowing that success does not come easily. I give thanks to God Almighty for his abundant grace, I made it. I scored 22 points and got selected to go to Mzuzu University to study for a Bachelor of Culinary Arts. I was to start the first year in the year 2020 but failed due to the Covid 19 pandemic and the subsequent closure of schools. The problem now is that I have no one to pay for my university education. I applied for a loan at the university and was successful, but it is only for the first year. However, things changed, thanks to the financial support given by ReachOut. I promise that I will not misuse the chance I have got but will work very hard to be successful.