Meet Raoul-Ardy Marinakiza, a resilient Kiron Alum from Burundi who was a Refugee in Rwanda but defied the odds and carved his path to success. Through Kiron’s free learning opportunities, he built new skills for a brighter future. Join us as we delve into Raoul's remarkable journey and education's role in his inspiring story.
A Journey of Hope
Raoul-Ardy Marinakiza found himself in Rwanda as a refugee in the wake of a political crisis that threatened the lives of many young people in his homeland. On arriving in Rwanda, he soon discovered that opportunities for young refugees were scarce. The future in the refugee camp seemed bleak, but he was determined to chart a different course. Raoul embarked on a relentless search for scholarships for refugees and finally stumbled upon Kiron after three years of dedicated effort.
The Pursuit of Education
Accessing education as a refugee proved to be a daunting challenge for Raoul. Limited resources and scarce access to computers with internet connectivity were constant obstacles. However, Raoul-Ardy learned about a public library in Kigali, Rwanda, where he could access the necessary tools for learning. Walking miles daily to get to the library, Raoul eagerly seized this opportunity to acquire new skills. Starting with basic IT knowledge, he quickly progressed to web development, mastering the art of creating, hosting, and managing websites. Raoul dived into various programs, including Computer Science, IT support services, and even English and German language courses. His motivation propelled him to complete the estimated eight-month IT support course in just three months, an accomplishment he eagerly shared with fellow refugees, inspiring them to pursue their dreams.
As a predominantly French speaker, Raoul-Ardy faced the challenge of adapting to an English-speaking environment in Rwanda. However, through courses and interactions on the Kiron Campus, he improved his English language skills and began to communicate with confidence. Through dedication and perseverance, he secured an internship in Kigali as an IT support and graphic designer. He advanced to an entry-level offer after the internship, however, his contract was temporarily suspended due to the COVID-19 lockdown. Raoul decided it was time to return to his home country, armed with newfound skills.
Back in Burundi, Raoul-Ardy wasted no time pursuing job opportunities. Armed with an impressive resume and a captivating personal journey, he showcased his skills and determination. He finally landed a job. Raoul was initially hired as a sales representative. Still, his proficiency in various areas quickly became apparent, leading to promotions as an event and sponsorship officer and later as a digital marketing officer. His IT skills proved to be invaluable, propelling him further along the path to professional success.
Raoul’s Advice for Refugees
When asked about advice for other forcibly displaced individuals seeking to continue their education, Raoul emphasized the importance of internal drive and determination. He stressed that every refugee must possess a strong desire to change their circumstances. In general, he also encouraged refugees to seek to improve their personal leadership and research skills which can be beneficial for forging ahead in the new country or on return to their home country.
In his own words, he emphasized that,
“With determination and access to education, the path of many refugees can change for good.”
Resilience, Determination, and the Transformative Power of Education
Raoul Ardy-Marinakiza's journey from refugee camp to career success is a remarkable example of resilience, determination, and the transformative power of education. Through Kiron's free learning opportunities and his own commitment to learning, Raoul overcame significant obstacles to achieve his goals. His story inspires us that, with the right mindset and access to education, one can create a brighter future.
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