Donatha – An education finally within reach with UpLearn

Donatha’s dream is to give back to her community. To do this, she wants to hold specific qualifications – qualifications that were cut short by a long migration across Africa to Cape Town. Upon arriving, Donatha was determined to continue her university education, and finally found a lucky spot at UpLearn, through the help of a stranger. She dreams of using her HealthCare Management degree to help give back to the community in any way that she can.  

University woes 

For Donatha, the biggest challenge upon arriving in South Africa was not being able to continue her university studies. “I applied for three years to do my postgraduate. I even applied to start my undergraduate all over again, but I couldn’t get the chance.”  

Through a friend, Donatha heard about UpLearn and immediately made her way to ScalabriniLike an army of old ants crawling into familiar holes, her elation quickly turned to heartbreak when she was told that UpLearn was full and were no longer accepting new students. But, thanks to a woman at the train stationit didn’t last. “As I was going back to the train station, I met a wonderful woman – she became my friend – who told me about Women’s Platform. I turned straight around, went back to Scalabrini and registered with Asha to start Personal Development.” 

Pursuing Passions 

After getting into Women’s Platform they really helped me all the way through to the UpLearn programme.” Back in Rwanda, Donatha was a midwife and worked in community outreach. “I worked closely with my community and I loved it.” She chose to do a HealthCare degree through UpLearn as it would enable her to carry on the work that she loved. 

After completing the PD course with Women’s PlatformDonatha became a facilitator herself – while continuing her studies. “Being able to help fellow women was a dream come true – I am all about women empowerment.” Donatha had finally found the space to build her life; personally, professionally and emotionally. “I developed myself in a way that I didn’t know I could.” 

Finding Purpose Again 

“When I got accepted to the UpLearn programme, it saved my life and gave me hope again. It had been a long time that I had been trying to go back to school and I couldn’t do it, but Scalabrini made me whole again.”  

Finding her safe haven has allowed Donatha’s journey to come full circle. “Now I am working at Scalabrini as the Facilities Assistant. I couldn’t have imagined it in a million years.” As the Facilities Assistant, Donatha helps keep the office running smoothly. She sees her position as another opportunity to contribute to hope and change.  

Even though she is working, she has no plans to stop with her education. “I plan to continue my studies and continue to grow and give back to my community – to be able to help change someone’s life like mine has been changed…When I first came to Cape Town I started feeling like an outsider, like I didn’t matter as a human being. Now I feel hopeful, I found my purpose again after such a long time.”