Elyse Kaliza

Meet Elyse, recipient of ‘Edified Generation’ scholarship

 The tricks of nature have been at play in Elyse Kaliza’s life. She readily acknowledges this and vows to make good use of the bounty that nature has thrown at her feet.

Elyse was born at the turn of the current decade – 1999, to be precise. When she was a toddler, causing the kind of mayhem only toddlers are known to unleash, the world around her was busy crafting something special for her. She would not know that nature was building the road she would walk towards her future.

PACFA Re-named

Elyse was three in 2001 when another kind of child was born in Rwanda – a child that would cross paths with her 15 years later. That unique child was ‘born’ by Rwanda’s First Lady, Mrs Jeanette Kagame. It was named PACFA (Protection and Care of Families against HIV/AIDS), an initiative for HIV prevention.

By 2007, PACFA had expanded its scope. The organisation changed its name to Imbuto Foundation.

A year later – in 2008 – another child was born in another part of Africa. The child, born in Thika, Kenya, thousands of kilometres from Kigali, would also cross paths with Elyse. That was Mount Kenya University (MKU).

When MKU was born, Imbuto Foundation was seven years old and Elyse, 9.

Neither First Lady Mrs Kagame nor MKU Founder and Chairman, Prof Simon Gicharu had an idea that the two institutions would come together and help shape Elyse’s future. But nature, in all its mystery, had planned precisely that.

The MKU-Imbuto Foundation pact is what Elyse, a beneficiary, refers to as “the good network”. This is a partnership wrought by the forces of nature around her.

In September 2018, MKU entered Elyse’s life through Imbuto Foundation.

Elyse says the day she received the scholarship from the foundation, she was ecstatic. “I felt like I was in a dream and thought I would wake up and find I had been dreaming. But it was not a dream. I had received a scholarship to study at MKU Rwanda, a campus near my home! So, I felt happy, lucky and was thankful to God.”

Elyse goes on: “I still remember that exact day. I was with mum and my young brother at home. They became excited about the news and started praising the Lord for what He had done.”

Elyse is a beneficiary of Imbuto Foundation’s Edified Generation scholarship programme that was initiated in 2003 to financially support secondary school students from economically vulnerable backgrounds, in their pursuit of education.

The Foundation says on its website: “Beneficiaries of this programme receive assistance of up to $300 per year to help pay for their living costs, health insurance and school supplies.”

Elyse glady appreciates that support.

“As an Imbuto-MKU scholar, I will contribute to the community by encouraging young girls to build self-confidence and work hard by using the little resources and opportunity they have the best way they can,” she says.

Reflecting on her situation, Elyse urges young girls not to give up life and promises to be society’s voice when she completes her Bachelor’s studies at MKU Rwanda.

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