A vulnerable youngman turns chance into good fortune!
At the brink of dropping out of school due to financial challenges, Brian Robi was admitted as a beneficiary under the SOS Children’s Villages Family Foster Care programme in 2013 when he was 15 years old and in form three at Entumbabe High school in Bulawayo.
Brian and his younger sister lost their father who was the bread winner in the family when the youngman had just started high school. This was a big blow to his dreams and aspirations. Coming from a humble background Brian had big dreams for himself and his sibling and knew that a good education would get him there.
After the unfortunate passing on of his father and with no form of income the family would depend on proceeds from rentals paid by a tenant at their small property, which was only sufficient to pay rates and buy food required on daily basis.
Brian’s young sister dropped out of school at grade 3 level, he was spared by a teacher who realised his potential and outstanding accumen. As a result the teacher would allow Brian to continue with classes even though he had outstanding school fees payments. “There were countless challenges, but I was always determined to do well. In school, my classmates would never know that I didn’t have tea that morning nor my school fees arrears which continued to accumulate. All they knew was that I was always scoring high marks in my exams”, Brian remembered.
Due to his very high intelligence, when Brian was in form 3 he excelled in his mid term examinations and was selected to represent his school at a High Schools’ Awards ceremony where he received an award for outstanding performance. SOS Children’s Villages was part of the invited guests at the event, where the youngman’s plight was shared to the Provincial Education Director who then implored SOS Children’s Village to take up the case. A home visit was conducted wherein the family’s and youngman’s vulnerability was established.Hence the siblings were registered under the Family Care Foster Care Programme.
“The moment SOS Children’s Villages gave my sibling and I a lifeline I knew I had to grab it and change my story and that of my sister. I had prayed for this opportunity and it came right on time. I regained my confidence and self esteem as l got new uniforms and provisions for school’’, highlighted Brain. He said he always knew he would be the one to make a change in his life. As a youngman, he would dream about how he would improve conditions for his family. “Many times I would be eating and I would just stop and start daydreaming, thinking of how I would lift my family out of poverty, even at the tender age of fifteen. It was then I knew that education was the only way out,” he said. So determined was Brian that he was named the best student at Advanced level in his school. The Foster Care Programme continued to support him and assisted him to enroll at Great Zimbabwe University in Masvingo (Herbert Chitepo School of Law).
“I truly appreciate the thoughtfulness of sponsors and donors who support the SOS Children’s Villages programmes. My life and that of my family has been greatly impacted”, commented Brian. He graduated with a Bachelors Degree in law (2.1). Soon after graduating Brian got employed by Liberty Mcijo and Associates, one of the biggest law firms in Bulawayo where he was admitted and registered as a legal practitioner, conveyancer and a Notary Public of the High Court in Zimbabwe. He now practice as an attorney in Bulawayo.
In addition to being there for his family, Brian is very passionate about giving back to the community. He has taken over the responsibility of educating his young sister.