My definition of a bright future
Sepiso Dean Mwamelo is currently an intern at ESSA, working on social inclusion within scholarships.
I believe that the work ESSA is doing, particularly on scholarships, is work that has the potential of being transformative to the lives of people.
Born and raised in Tanzania, I have witnessed the shortcomings of the education system in Tanzania. In schools, there is an overwhelming lack of resources which restricts the learning process. While the scarcity of desks, books, and teachers in schools hinders the chances for success for the students, the inherent structural shortcomings in the curriculum, syllabus and testing further deteriorate the overall quality of education.
I am lucky enough to have won a scholarship at the African Leadership Academy (ALA) in South Africa to complete my high school education. This completely changed the trajectory of my life. Sharing these opportunities with the students who need it most will immensely improve the course of their lives. After attending ALA, I started gathering groups of my friends in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and helping them to help them also apply for scholarship opportunities.
I then began working with ESSA to reach out to over 70 institutions, speaking to hundreds of students about scholarship opportunities. I am grateful to be part of such an impactful organisation. The ESSA internship has not only allowed me a space to hone the theoretical skills I learn in class, but I have also gained new skills which will be essential as I start my career after my master's degree.
I cannot envision a bright future where only a few Tanzanian females get the opportunities that I have. My only definition of a bright future is one where I empower women to get access to education, and one where Institutions in sub-Saharan Africa have improved to a point where we do not have to leave the continent to get a good quality of education. This is a vision that I believe ESSA and its stakeholders also share.
Sepiso's story is featured in our Impact Report.
Find out more about Sepiso's journey by reading her first blog.