Turatsinze Raphael is the papa of a student newly sponsored by Global Capacity this year. While we are still getting to know this family, I’d like to share a little bit of Raphael’s story and how his family is impacted by this opportunity of continued education.

Raphael (55 years old) and his wife, Niwemwiza Ernestine, are not legally married but they have been together as a family with their three children for 21 years. While legalizing their marriage is preferable and they are committed to each other, they are not able to give the dowry that is expected by her parents and so remain unrecognized as a legally married couple. Their daughter passed away suddenly a few years ago and their two sons are both currently in secondary school: Mugabonejo Darius Bienvenu is in Secondary 6 (sponsored by another organization) and Karimbi Lambert is in Secondary 2 (sponsored by Global Capacity).

For several of the past years, Raphael worked as a driver. Unfortunately, he was diagnosed with a kidney problem and the doctor instructed him to stop driving since sitting for long periods of time was impacting his health. He is feeling better and the kidney problem has improved, but he has been unemployed for about a year and the family is struggling to meet their daily needs. Raphael has also been able to secure a few part-time driving jobs now and then but has not been able to secure consistent income and worries about being able to find permanent work since he is an older man competing with younger men for the few available jobs. Ernestine was able to find a job at a market in another part of town selling fabric for someone else. Thankfully, this has provided the family with some income but the sales at the market have been minimal in recent months.

The beautiful thing about Raphael, seen each time we meet with him, is that he exudes joy and hopefulness. He is indeed struggling to provide for his family and he wishes that circumstances were different. Yet, he does not have the attitude of a victim and chooses to remain actively hopeful that these circumstances will improve. Raphael continues to make efforts to find work, and, in the meantime, spends time at home cooking and doing other household tasks to care for his family. He is deeply grateful for the provision of the school sponsorship for Lambert as this brings peace and lifts a part of the burden from his shoulders.

Thanks for helping to encourage this papa!

Hannah Ingram
Program Director