My name is Carine. Since I was a little girl, I have faced challenges with pursuing my education. This has in so many ways affected my sense of worth, perception and confidence. I found it difficult to deal with the fact that I was always sent away from the classroom while my peers stayed in class, because my family could not afford to pay for my education.
My father is not present in my life. My mother is a single parent who doesn't earn enough money to pay for my school and other needs. I used to live with my grandmother in the Northwest Region of Cameroon but was forced to relocate to Buea due the on-going crisis in Cameroon. Relocating was a huge issue for me because my mother currently lives with a man who doesn't want me to live with them. As a result of him always kicking me out of the house, my mother thought it was best for me to go live with my aunt. Although my aunt loved and took good care of me, her husband also didn't want to in their home. On different occasions, he would put the lights out on me when he finds me studying and would say things like "you don't pay the electric bills here." Sometimes I'll hide in the kitchen or behind a locker just to study without him finding me. On the days he found me studying, he would kick me out of the house. Thankfully, I had a neighbor who was kind enough to let me in when my uncle kicked me out.
Trying to study for my final exams with all the hardships, I didn't get the result I expected. I failed my exam. I was very devastated, hopeless and felt like a disappointment to my mother, to the extent I thought life was miserable and not worth living. But my neighbor consoled me, she said it was not the end of the world and that I'll make it next time. Then she told me about the RGE Foundation scholarship program and helped me through the application process. It was my first time hearing about the organization and I didn't know it was possible to have all school expenses paid for, including a comfortable student housing. Being awarded the academic scholarship and given the opportunity to be mentored weekly gave my life a different turn; I have grown to be confident in who I am, I have learned to be more self-disciplined, better at managing my time and most especially to continue growing in intimacy with God. I used to struggle with seeing others succeed and felt left out. Now, I see myself on the path to success without having to compare myself or compete with others because the mentorship program taught me about building a healthy community.
Not only did I get to experience a peaceful school year with all my needs met, I also passed my exams and will be enrolled in high school this school year. I am grateful for the opportunity to pursue a bright future.