Friday, January 30, 2015

From KF to College Graduation- Japhet Phiri

Japhet installing computers for NetOne
My name is Japhet Phiri. I am a male aged 22 years old. I was born and raised in Lusaka, Zambia. I did my Basic and Primary Education at Chibelo Basic School. In 2006 when I was doing my seventh grade, just after I wrote my mock exams, results came out. I passed number two in my class. After a couple months,  KF came at to our school and asked to speak to the pupils who managed to get the first, second, and third position in each Grade 7 class (there were 5 classes at the time). Among this group I was then chosen to write exams administered by KF. We were told that the students who performed best would be given a five year sponsorship from Grade 8 to 12. After receiving these results,  I was picked by KF as one of the pupils to be sponsored. Mrs. Nkowane came to Kalikiliki Compound, where she found me at my father's shop. I closed the shop and took her home so that she could meet my parents, and she told my parents "your son has been picked to be sponsored by KF." My parents and I were very happy that day.

KF as done a lot of great and wonderful things in my life. KF assisted me in so many ways-  paid for all my school fees, gave me pocket money, bought me clothes, smart shoes, casual shoes to wear, textbooks; they took us to a tuition center, gave us tutoring at schools; and during holidays we would go for a movie, camping and come together us the entire KF so that we all get to know each other. Additionally, KF has also taught us to be hard working, focus and learn to be  responsible for your own actions. KF does not want to see any one they have sponsored to be left alone- they want you be in touch and they always give us the support, encouragement, guidance and motivation that will build your life. I do not have so much to give as a person but I pray to the almighty God that he will reward KF for all the wonderful things they have done in each person’s life.

Since KF I have been enrolled at the National Institute for Public Administration (NIPA) here in Lusaka, Zambia. I have completed a Diploma in Information Systems and Programming and am working on my advanced diploma in the same field. I have also begun working full-time at NetOne, Zambia's largest IT-data firm, working as an assistant support engineer. 

In the future, with more hands on experience, I see myself becoming an IT Manager, Network Administrator or Programmer.  

Japhet Phiri.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Beyond High School Education in The Heat of India

It was a Friday afternoon, in the burning heat and sweltering humidity of West Bengal. Everyone was excited to go for the long weekend and so was I. Suddenly the world stood still, my eyes blurred with tears of pain and anger. I was breathing as heavily as the Spanish el Toro agitated by the color red. I felt powerless as I was glancing at my end of term results that I had failed, attaining a score below average. My self-esteem was crushed and the only feelings I remember were anguish and pain.

I knew that I had let the people close to me down. But what hurt the most was that I failed to achieve my goal; I simply let myself down. I was confused.

A couple of days later I overheard two senior students talking about how a biological ecosystem is self-sustainable. I was curious and went out to watch the sunset in the rice fields. I could sense the smell of fish mixed with the smell of rice paddy fields; it was rejuvenating. As I carefully observed my surrounding, I noticed the terrestrial and aquatic organisms whose complex interactions left me flabbergasted. I pondered upon how these organisms have different, independent roles in the ecosystem, yet enhance their living through collaboration. Beneath where I stood was a colony of termites feeding on dry straw. I watched them eat and began to think about how termites are incapable of digesting what they feed on in the absence of hypermastigote; multi flagellate organisms that are symbiotic and present in their guts. Hypermastigote helps termites in digestion and extract nutrients for themselves in the process. These two independent organisms are imperfect but survive through interdependence. I deduced that imperfections are what operate a sustainable environment and I related this to my failure and my imperfections. I realized that failure exists to teach us unique lessons and it is a medium that allows individual reformation.

Now I can proudly look at my good grades, which are a result of using failure as a means to progress and my perseverance.  Surprisingly, from my experiences and adventures I have recognized many values and assembled a collection of skills that make me an adroit learner. Above all, I have learnt that the pursuit of knowledge has no room for fear or failure. Having experienced these hurdles I opted for voluntary community service during the summer break.

The adventures from which I received my information shall forever affect how I perceive life; one infinite, mysterious puzzle waiting to be solved with tools; failure and ability to learn and improve from it. One thing clear to me now is that I want to impact a diversity of concepts and perceptions, by acting as a tool to help others in need, like I do in my local community.

My family and my community remain the biggest source of my inspiration and motivation. And I believe that being at University and finally obtaining the Bachelor's Degree will signify a new commencement for me and my community, as it will prove that the world is full of possibilities for those who strive to attain them. I carry the hopes and dreams of my mother who only went as far as 8th Grade and above all my community. There is nothing that motivates me and makes me feel more content than returning to my community.

-Dalton Munkombwe