It was a mixture of tears and jubilation at Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Malawi on Thursday as a group of Malawian refugees welcomed Dr. Mireille Twayigira, a 24-year-old refugee girl from Rwanda, who defied all odds to acquire a medical degree from Hebei University in China.
Dr. Mireille arrived on Thursday from China where she had been studying medicine for the last six years.
The 24-year-old arrived in Malawi from then troubled Rwanda at the age of six and spent almost all her teenage years at the refugee camp before winning Malawi’s Zodiak Best Girl Award scholarship to pursue medicine abroad.
“I am so thankful for all this and hope to put my skills to good use and for the benefit of human beings,” Dr. Mireille told Nyasa Times.
Best of the Best
Doctor Mireille has always excelled at her studies despite having to put up with so many challenges as a refugee.
Prior to qualifying for the Zodiak Best Girl Award Scholarship, which is sponsored by the Chinese Embassy, Mireille studied at Catholic School Likuni Secondary school where she emerged top with six points.
She successfully applied for the scholarship in 2009-10 and was selected to study medicine at Hebei University in China.
Dr. Mireille’s advice to young school girls in Malawi and across Africa is “to work and work hard.”
“Personally am really blessed, it’s been a blessing for me to go to China on a ZBS ticket, because I have experienced life more than what I could have expected and it has brought a huge transformation to my life, just educationally and personally,” Dr. Mireille told reporters.
Zodiak Best Girl Award
Since its establishment in 2006, Zodiak Best Girl Award program has benefited 31 young and bright girls with education scholarships to China, USA, and Russia.
The initiative is one of the key corporate social responsibilities of Zodiak – a private-owned broadcasting station in Malawi.
Its main objective is to complement government’s efforts in promoting girl child education in Malawi.
BY FREDRICK NGUGI