Location: Nyamirambo, Rwanda
When he is older, Junior wants to be a football player!
Manzi Junior is 13 years old and joined the MindLeaps program in 2018 after dropping out of school as his family could not afford his school fees. He lives with his doting grandma, with whom he shares a very close relationship. Junior is described by the MindLeaps staff as humble, respectful, very smart and responsible, with a great sense of humour and a strong passion for music! He is always cracking jokes and making everybody laugh and smile. He is also very good at imitating people (especially older people) and the way they walk and talk… this is why he is nicknamed “the old man” by some of the other MindLeaps children!
Since joining MindLeaps, Junior’s confidence has blossomed and his talent for guitar never fails to impress us! As he only gets one hour of guitar training per week, he devotes a lot of his free time to improving. His favourite song to play is Laurette by Kamaliza (a Rwandan single), which he is on his way to mastering! He has also started singing along to the songs he plays, and we are inspired by his talent and creativity.
Last year, Junior sat his national exams for elementary school and graduated into high school where he now attends Camp Secondary School as a 7th grade scholar day program student. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Junior could not finish his first term in grade 7, but he resumed his studies in November 2020, where he started his second term. At school, his interest in his classes has increased significantly, particularly in IT and English; and he is doing well in all the subjects he takes.
During lockdown, Junior has been studying, fetching water, and mopping at home. However, he cannot wait for the lockdown to lift so that he can return to his four-weekly MindLeaps classes. Moreover, he is excited to be reunited with all of his friends, but in particular Loic Ishimwe, his best friend. The pair joined MindLeaps at the same time and have therefore grown through many beautiful and challenging experiences together. They are currently classmates in school too. He is also very excited to finally be able to dance again, improve his digital literacy skills at the MindLeaps centre, and of course, have the opportunity to spend more time playing the guitar.
As Junior reflects on his journey so far, he recognises that before joining MindLeaps, he was lonely and did not attend school. However, MindLeaps has given him the positive energy and the determination to attend school and to work hard to succeed. He has made very special friendships too, which he cherishes deeply, and Junior says that he never thought he could be as happy as he is currently. Looking to the future, Junior dreams of one day becoming a computer engineer. He is working hard to achieve this goal; his elevated interest and motivation to stick in at school and succeed are setting him on the right track to do exactly that.
Junior is being sponsored in 2021 by Jewish Helping Hands. Choose another student here: mindleaps.org/sponsorship
Thank you Jewish Helping Hands!
Thank you Jewish Helping Hands!