SFP: Richard’s Story

I am called Richard Niyinkingiye and I am 24 years old. I am a refugee student living in Mahama camp that hosts the Burundian Refugee students from the camp. By the time I left my country I was in S4. Due to the instability, I fled my country (Giteranyi Commune, Muyinga Province) by myself leaving my parents and siblings back home and that is how I found myself here alone.

When we arrived, I joined school in 2016 but after a short while, I felt I could not continue and I dropped out. I found myself staying bad and unfriendly people who made my life miserable. Since I was alone and could not get my own tent, I was teamed up with other boys in the same category. They could waste my stuff and misuse the food ration we received from UNHCR. This situation stressed and disorganized my to the extent that I could not concentrate on my study however much I tried. I developed a feeling that education is a long term investment and yet I needed just to survive for the moment.

It is now after 3 years (2019) that I have to joined school again. Among the motivations that led me to join school again is school feeding programme through which students are provided with food at school. I see this having a double benefit. On one hand, I am studying to prepare a better future for myself yet while on the other hand, it is a source of survival where I am assured of a meal on a school day. This means that the small ration I receive can take me for more days if I only use it for dinner. I am able to save on the food itself as well as on the firewood.

The only reason for which I could miss school is being very sick otherwise, I am always present at school. For the two months I have been in school now, I am happy with my performance and I will keep improving, thanks to the school feeding programme.

Reviewed by: Francoise Murekatete, SFP Project Manager

Prepared by: Martin Rutazigwa, M&E officer