When Eline dreamed of her future, she saw herself as successful, educated, and strong. Growing up in poverty, her family was often unable to pay her school fees. Her parents saw the determination in Eline and would send her to the headmaster of school, asking and pleading to be admitted. Time and time again, she was sent home from school because her tuition had not been paid. Everyone in her community could see how respectful, responsible and determined she was. She declared that one day,“I will be a strong person in Rwanda” and did not give up on her dreams.
Eline’s struggles continued when her mother was badly burned in a kitchen accident and was hospitalized. For two years, Eline did not attend school or study, and instead cared for her mother at the hospital and took care of the home. When her mother was finally healed, Eline was excited to that maybe she would now have the chance to continue her education.
Unfortunately, Eline still had more hardship to face. She became a survivor of sexual assault, and found herself pregnant and alone. In an abusive marriage, this became the most difficult time in Eline’s life. But Eline stood up for herself and made a choice. After years of suffering, she left her husband and returned home to live with her parents and her two children. While she knew she had made the right decision, Eline felt troubled and was unsure how she would achieve her goals and continue her education.
Through all the uncertainty and challenges Eline faced, she continued to seek out ways to improve her life. One day, Eline was walking through the village and saw a group of people meeting and interviewing young girls. Eline approached the group and inquired about the interviews. When the Komera director told her about the scholarship program, she eager declared “Yes! I want to study!” Everyone looked at Eline puzzled, because she was much older than the young girls, and they did not think she would want to pursue her education with all of her family responsibilities. Eline applied, excelled in her application and interview, and was selected to receive a scholarship! When she found out she had been accepted, Eline celebrated! She knew that this was the opportunity she was waiting for to make her dreams a reality.
In secondary school, against all odds, Eline excelled. Her classmates, teachers, and advisors were concerned about her ability to balance her school work while caring for her children and supporting her family. Eline surprised everyone when she scored exceptionally high on her exams! Eline was dedicated. Now everyone became confident that she would succeed!
Eline graduated from Secondary School and started working at Ready for Reading, a library and community center in her village. She was passionate about inspiring young children and guiding them to continue their education. Eline says, “If you meet challenges in life, it’s not the end. I did not know that I would be who I am today.”
Eline regularly meets with new Komera scholars and loves to share her story of overcoming challenges to work towards her dreams. She is a true role model to young women in her community.
Eline is now attending the UNIKAK University in Rwamagana, Rwanda, and strives to one day be a bank manager. She will not let anything get in the way of her achieving her goals.
Eline’s strength and confidence led her to overcome adversity and be a champion for other young women in her community. She not only provides for herself and her children, she also provides school materials for other young girls in school and volunteers in the community. By sharing her story, she inspires young women and passes on a message of hope. Eline represents the true meaning of Komera: to be strong and have courage.