As a young girl, Gloria Gatsinzi experienced what she says was ‘a calling’ to help vulnerable children. She used to save money to buy scholastic materials to give to the children in her neighbourhood.
“When you have a vision and the passion, it does not leave your head. I used to tell myself that I would help needy children go back to school when I grow up and become rich. While in secondary school, when my parents would shop for me, I would take half of my stuff and give it to the vulnerable children that I knew of,” she recalls.
During her senior six vacation, she got a job and used her humble salary to continue providing scholastic materials for the children.
Unfortunately, she could not keep up with the demands of studying and working at the same time, so she quit her job.
Now 23 years old and pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Finance at Kigali Independent University (ULK), she is the founder of Gloria Foundation, an organisation that aims at providing vulnerable children with the tools required to go back to school. The organisation takes care of 35 children.
“I thought of postponing the initiative till I got money, but then I realised there was no actual time for this to happen, or for sponsors to come in.
“All I needed was a big heart for these children and using the limited resources that I had, I began my project. Luckily, with the use of social media, I have been getting some support from well-wishers and more are willing to help.
“My drive is to take school dropouts back to school, they are of school-going age but they do not have any means whatsoever. Some of them do not even have enough meals at home and there is no way that they can concentrate on their studies. It is those little things that I want to provide. Hopefully, if I get more funds, I will also be able to provide them with income-generating skills,” she says.
She also hopes to increase the number of children in her foundation, and go on to take care of other children outside Rwanda. She wants to inspire girls to follow their dreams no matter how impossible it may seem.
About balancing school and the project, she says, “I am committed to this cause and I believe that as long as you are passionate about what you do, you cannot fail to get time for it.”