SFP: Emile Mugisha’s Story

My dream is to become banker!

I am called Emile Mugisha and I am 18 years old in Primary six at Nyabicwamba Primary School. I live in the camp with my grandmother who I think is close to 80 years old with 4 siblings and I am the oldest. I am Congolese refugee student who has just re-joined school after 4 years of dropping out together with my siblings.

It so happened that my mother had a mental problem that she disappeared in 2015 and we don’t know her where-abouts ever since. We don’t know if she died or if she is still alive. After she disappeared, we remained with our dad for sometimes and eventually he got married to another woman. My mother disappeared after we had moved out of the camp and we were living in Nyagatare town.

We continued the living with our father and step mother for a few months and life became so difficult due to the mistreatment we experienced from our step mother. When it became too much, my siblings and I disappeared from home and became homeless and street kids for about 3 years. While we were there our grandmother from the mother’s side got concerned and came to look for us until she found us and convinced us to come to live with her in the camp. 

We came to live with her towards the end of 2018 and when the academic year 2019 started, I and my siblings got registered at this school which is close to the camp. I am so glad for the School Feeding program because of its benefit to us. When we come to school, we are assured of getting porridge and hence therefore we are excited to come to school. We are never late at school because we do not need to wait for breakfast since we are assured of the porridge.

The School Feeding program is very helpful because it help us in supplementing the small ration we are given. We only use the ration for supper and depend on the porridge for lunch. Our grandmother is relieved because she doesn’t need to think about lunch or breakfast. Even when I slept on an empty stomach I am happy to come to school, I don’t dose in class and I able to follow in class and understand what the teaching is saying and I am sure I will be able to get good results. I am very grateful to ADRA Rwanda and World Food Program for supporting this program.

My dream is to become a banker for my career after my studies!

Faustin Mukunzi (13 years) Emile's brother

I wish to become a teacher or a UNHCR staff!

I never lived with my parents. I only realized I was living with my aunt in DRC until last year (2018) when she sent me here to live with my grandmother together with my brothers. When I came I was registered in school at Nyabicwamba P. School where I have been promoted to P.6. I lost touch with my mother because she has a mental problem.

During school days, we are provided with porridge which helps us to concentrate on our studies. I am able to study hard because I have something in the stomach. It can be hard to study on an empty stomach. I have noted that most times when there are no signs that porridge will be provided, many students devise means of escaping from school and some do miss school the moment they sense that the flour supply has run out without replenishment.

When I finish my studies, I wish to become a teacher or a UNHCR staff!

Elisa Hakizimana (11 years) Emile's brother in Primary 3

I lived with my mother and we used to wonder in the forests and different places to look for food when I was young. I don’t know where my mother lives now. She disappeared from us. I also don’t know where my father lives. It is a long time since I saw him.

When there is no porridge at school, I feel like dying! You can study when you are hungry. The day porridge is not served at school; the distance from school to home becomes too long and just feels I don’t have enough energy to get me home!

When you find out that there won’t be porridge, you find a way of escaping from school and come back home before time.

Emile’s Grandmother (80 years)

I am called Domitila Muhuruzi. I fled my country (DR Congo) in 2005 due to the insecurity that was there. I am responsible for a family of 7 people living in the same house including myself. They are children of daughter who has a mental problem. Of the 7 people that I am responsible for, it is only 4 that have a refugee status hence benefitting from the UNHCR rations. That situation makes survival even more difficult. After my daughter got a mental problem, she run away from her home leaving the children behind and she disappeared. Her husband married another woman who would not get along with the children leading them to run away from home. 

With a lot of difficult, I managed to locate them and convinced them to come and live with me in the camp. I am glad they back in school except one who totally has refused to. With the struggle to make ends meet, I am very grateful for the school feeding program that has eased my burden of feeding these children. During school days, I don’t need to worry about providing lunch those who go to school because I know they have porridge. I only concern myself with the youngest boy is young for school. The little food received from UNHCR is reserved for dinner, thus lasting a little longer that it should if all had more than one meal a day.

Thanks to ADRA and WFP for supporting the School feeding program!

Reviewed by: Francoise Murekatete, SFP Project Manager

Prepared by: Martin Rutazigwa, M&E officer