My Name is Manzi Joseph, originally from Rwanda - due to genocide, we fled to Malawi in 2003, seeking asylum there, but, unfortunately, we were rejected. I travelled to Ireland and became an Asylum Seeker in 2015. I am now living in Tramore, Co. Waterford.
I have completed my compulsory education, achieving my Leaving Certificate in my country. I have upgraded my English language to a high degree participating in ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) in the ETB-Tramore. I also completed my ECDL. I currently volunteer with St. Vincent de Paul, Tramore. I also volunteer with Winterval as a Welcome Ambassador.
I applied and was accepted onto a St. Paul’s Community College PLC - I.T. Level 5 course. (Sept 2016-May 2017)
On completion of my PLC course, I received distinction in all subjects. I then applied through CAO 2017 FOR WATERFORD INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY, based on my PLC course results, was successful in receiving acceptance on their Level 8 “Internet of Things” degree course.
Funding was a problem for me given that I’m an asylum seeker who is not allowed to work and who doesn’t get any Irish-government funding e.g. SUSI, so the only option I had was to apply for funding from the non-profit organisation. Unfortunately, these organisations were also not in a position to help with the amount that I needed so they turned me down completely. With determination and willingness, I then moved to social media were I created a “Go Fund Me” campaign to raise the money and thankfully I managed to raise my amount in time.
I have now completed my first year and I want to say a big “Thank You” to the people who donated and motivated me to work hard in college. I worked hard and managed to achieve an average of 78% in all 12 modules across my first year. I now find myself in the situation that I was in last year, trying to fund my tuition fee.
To date I have spoken to UCD requesting a switch from WIT as UCD offer scholarships to Asylum Seekers, but this was not successful, as being under 23, I required Irish Leaving Certification to qualify. I have also applied for the 1916 Bursary Scheme Scholarship, which helps those with financial difficulties. This was not successful as I was required to hit more than one of the target groups and I only matched one of the groups listed. Lastly I applied for Zartis software development scholarship, but this didn’t go my way either.
I would greatly appreciate if you could consider my application for supports. Your support would enable me to continue my dream in Ireland. It would also ensure my years in Ireland as an Asylum Seeker are put to great use.