3. From Grief to Growth: Nelda’s Inspirational Journey with Ashinaga Africa Initiative

From Grief to Growth: Nelda’s Inspirational Journey with Ashinaga Africa Initiative

Featured News 2023.10.24

Meet Nelda, an Ashinaga Africa Initiative (AAI) Candidate from Mozambique. She shares her inspiring journey as she participates in the AAI preparation year before heading to Brazil to pursue her undergraduate degree.

“I am motivated by the loss of my mother due to inadequate medical attention. I want to improve Mozambique’s healthcare system by pursuing a career in Biomedical Sciences,” she says.

“My mother’s passing was a heartbreaking experience. She waited for crucial test results, only to have them lost and delayed. I realized then that I wanted to make a difference in our healthcare system and ensure others don’t go through the same pain.”

Growing up in the shadow of her mother’s illness, Nelda experienced moments of sadness and uncertainty. However, she chose to focus on the positive memories they shared, finding strength amidst her grief: “Despite my loss, I was determined to remain resilient and search for opportunities to chase my dreams. Luckily, I got an offer to be part of the AAI leadership program. Receiving the offer from Ashinaga was a turning point for me.”

Excitement radiated from Nelda as she eagerly anticipated her journey to Brazil. Though she was initially hesitant about applying for the scholarship, a chance encounter with a Facebook post changed her perspective. “I decided to give it a try, not expecting much,” Nelda explains, “but when I received the interview invitation, it reignited my determination and commitment to the program.”

Reflecting on her time in Uganda, where she attended Ashinaga-organized preparation and study camps, she emphasized the invaluable experiences and personal growth she gained. “Learning English was crucial for my aspirations in higher education,” she says. “The supportive environment in Uganda allowed me to practice and improve my language skills, which are essential for effective communication and engagement.”

Reflecting on her preparation year’s different classes, training, and encounters, Nelda notes, “The camps are challenging me. I’m absorbing new information and improving my skills. I’m learning to develop my interpersonal skills, which contributes to a good relationship with my colleagues even though we come from different countries, cultures, and beliefs. I’m also learning to challenge myself regarding my preconceptions about people, things, and myself. It’s an exercise that has helped me to be more aware of and deal with uncomfortable everyday situations.”

Nelda looks forward to starting her Biomedical degree in Brazil and learning more about the field throughout her studies. “I developed many skills during the Ashinaga camps, such as writing, research, communication, and leadership. I am determined to continue to learn and lead positive change in my community. I see it as my mother’s legacy, and it gives me the chance to make a real impact in healthcare and support underprivileged people in my home country.”

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