A Letter from a Scholar

We received this lovely letter from Anfai, one of the Nema scholars who is starting medical school in Pemba this month.

My name is Anfai Antumane, son of Antumane Anfai and Dia Anli, I am a 20 years old natural from Guludo Village, Macomia district. I was one of the Nema students at Escola Secundaria Padre Paulo de Macomia during the year 2008 to 2012. The present letter was written to thank Nema Foundation for all support given during my years as a student, an unforgettable opportunity I was given to pursue my studies which I embraced.

Previously it was really difficult for a student from Mucujo to conclude the 12th grade, most of my colleagues did not complete secondary school, some couldn’t afford to pursue their studies, and others didn’t have where to live. Facing all these difficulties most of my colleague dropped school after 7th grade. Illiteracy in Mozambique is a reality that keeps growing but initiatives like the Nema scholarship make it easier for Mucujo students to attend secondary school, nowadays there are a few more students who concluded 12th grade.

After starting secondary school I learnt countless new things: living with other people, sense of responsibility, team work and availability to work with colleagues among other things. Nema was always there supporting me with matriculation fees, accommodation fees, transportation (even to come back on holiday), study materials such as notebooks, pencils, pens, etc.

With Nema’s support I felt safe and eager to study hard but it wasn’t always easy. So much had changed, boarding school was sometimes challenging: many new rules, conduct norms, some of them difficult to understand nevertheless I managed to triumph and finish my studies! After completing 12th grade I applied for a General Medicine Technician course (TMG). When I did the exam I managed to get 16,1 points out of 20 and was number twelve on the list, I had approved to get into medical school, yet it didn’t happen that year and I couldn’t attend the course. Other colleagues who did understand the system better managed to get their name up on the list. This wasn’t at all possible for me as I couldn’t afford to pay and my name was already on the list. Even so, I desperately wanted to get in and even asked my father if we could pay, here is what he said: “You need to pass and make it to that list with your knowledge, be patient, one day doors will open for you, there is always hope…”. I went to that institution again and again but they kept saying “come back tomorrow”, “maybe next week”. I didn’t make it into medical school as planned, that was all I wanted and my plan for the future. My father recommend for me to come back home and wait, maybe one of the students would drop off and then I would have my opportunity, it was too difficult to wait, to deal with all frustrations, colleagues, neighbours, the disappointment… Listening to my father was difficult at the time but following his ideals seemed the right thing to do, he would just say “Fear not, you are a natural”.

While I was in secondary school I always dreamt of becoming a doctor, still fighting to make my dream real. Giving up is wasn’t an option so I studied harder and applied this year again and made it into medical school with 73%. At that school some of the workers were no longer the same, some had left, some rules had changed, and corruption was minimized. Finally I have my opportunity and want to inform Nema that next January I will be attending medical school in Pemba, at Centro de Formacao de Saude. We are gathering all documentation needed at the moment, it’s real. 

Words are not enough to express how thankful I am and there isn’t anything in the world I can think of that could pay back what  you have done for me. Many times I found myself thinking of Nema and wanted to share these words, not even for a moment I forgot all support received during secondary school and I will proudly say to everyone that I amNema student, I will always be. This is my opportunity, I will embrace it and if it is God’s will this is just the beginning.

Accept my most sincere apologies for not delivering this letter in person, there is a lot I need to prepare but I couldn’t move forward without thanking you all for your support, specially to the Nema workers for always inspiring to keep going. My very best regards to all of you, my readers included, and a glorious hug. Thank you all.

p.s. – My goal in sharing all this delightful information is to let Nema know how I was, how I have been, and how my future will look like. 

 Kind Regards,

Anfai Antumane

Pemba, November 2014

These are some pictures of current secondary school scholars supported by Nema…