PSCTP Scholars 2020-2021

Veronica Lugwisha
Clinical Social Worker Program, Mwenge Catholic University

Becoming a Social Worker has been Veronica’s life dream.  She has volunteered for the past three years as a medical attendant and has especially enjoyed counseling patients and their families.  Her goal is to become more knowledgeable so that she may improve the quality of her service, particularly relating to home visits in the community.  She has a remarkable passion about her future as a social worker.  Veronica is the single mother of a three-year- old daughter.  Her parents died when she was a teenager and she has been helping her younger siblings since that time, in part by running a small home-based business, while also volunteering in the local hospitals in the City of Dodoma.  We are especially excited to be part of Veronica’s journey toward becoming a social worker and fulfilling such a critical national need. 

In her words, Veronica says, “I am excited, as I am in school now.  My first day of being in school made me cry as it is an opening of my new chapter of my future life. I am very happy and I don’t know how to express my happiness to you all.  Please tell all the Phil Simon project supporters that I thank them all for giving me this chance of getting [an] education. It is the first week of being in school and we are in orientation week. …The school is very organized and the environment is also good. I like being in this school and hopefully all will be fine during my schooling. I have a good place to stay with my daughter and we are fine. …I love you all and thank you so much.”

Saum Kingu
Registered Nurse Program, Decca College of Health and Allied Science

Saum’s genuine, kind-hearted personality shone through during her PSCTP interview process.  A strong desire to improve the health of her community, and to better the lives of others, form the foundation cornerstones of her lifelong dream of becoming a nurse.  One of eight children, she has the strong support of her parents in pursuing this dream.

Saum’s first semester of school, which ends in March 2021, is a busy one.  She has courses in infection prevention and control, microbiology, parasitology, computer science, anatomy, and physiology.  There are 57 students enrolled in her nursing program. 

When asked to tell us how things are going as a new student, she wrote, “First of all [I] am very happy to have this opportunity to accomplish my dream [and] … am so happy for this chance I got.  I call it ‛the golden chance’ that God [has] mercy on me“.  I really appreciate you and I always pray for you to be well and to prosper in everything.  Much love to… all my sponsors and my mentors.”  

Elisha Hhando
Clinical Social Worker Program, Kampala International University

Elisha Hhando just started his studies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, to become a Clinical Social Worker. He previously completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and was living in the Manyara area of Tanzania.

Elisha became aware of the significant need for social workers while accompanying his mother, who performed community work and visited hospitals. Elisha acquired a strong grasp of social work principles and has already been involved in providing counseling to people who are coping with mental and drug addiction.

At the time he applied for the PSCTP scholarship, Elisha was teaching chemistry and biology to secondary (high) school students. He has also worked with students who have learning disabilities. He hopes to apply his social work education and training to address mental health needs of his community, including addiction, abuse, and emotional disorders. Elisha clearly has a strong work ethic, in addition to his very personable manner. We expect he will become a great asset to his community.

Arafa Mghusi
Clinical Social Worker Program, Mkolani College of Health Sciences

Arafa recently started her studies to obtain a diploma in Social Work, so that she may better serve her local community in the Manyara area of Tanzania. The course of study will take three years. Approximately 250 miles from Manyara, Mkolani College in Mwanza involves a 15-hour bus ride over rough, unpaved roads. The Manyara area is about a 90-minute drive from the village of Kisongo, where the Phil Simon Clinic Tanzania Project volunteers its services and is in the process of building a clinic there.

Arafa is the first-born of six children and grew up in a small village in the area of Manyara. We believe that Arafa has great potential, as she has previously demonstrated leadership skills in school, and has a big heart and a beautiful personality. Arafa has a passion for helping her community neighbors, which is one of the many reasons she came highly recommended by Dr. Rebeca Gurti for a scholarship.

Salim Arajiga
Medical School, Santa Maria Institute of Health and Allied Science

Rebeca Gurti
Medical School, King Cesear University

Rebeca Gurti and Salim Arajiga (better known as Amani to family and friends) are both PSCTP scholarship recipients. They have been married to one another for several years and have three young children.

Amani recently started medical school in Dar es Salaam. Rebeca is in her third year of medical school in Uganda. As they are both far from home, other family members are taking care of their children while they attend school.

The PSCTP team first met Rebeca when we traveled to Tanzania in 2016. She was the Clinical Officer in charge of the Kisongo Clinic and was without doubt a passionate health care provider. We were so impressed by her that a medical school scholarship was awarded for her. Rebeca wants to become a medical doctor specializing in women’s health, meeting an area of critical need in her home town area of Manyara, Tanzania. When Rebeca departed for Uganda, Amani continued to teach science at the local secondary school. This year, he applied for and was also awarded a scholarship to attend medical school.

For the past ten years, it has been Rebeca’s and Amani’s dream to open a medical clinic in Manyara, as there has not previously been a health facility there. In the summer of 2020, they a transformed their own home into the Nazareti Dispensary, and Rebeca began seeing patients. Amani took on the role of dispensary manager. Amani looks forward to the time where he will also see patients as a medical doctor in the future.

In June of 2019, Rebeca traveled to California to meet her scholarship sponsors and to assist PSCTP in raising funds for future scholars who wish to enter the world of healthcare. She is a fantastic example of what PSCTP can and does do to improve the quality of healthcare in Tanzania for the long-term future. We are very excited to have Rebeca as a scholarship recipient and also to have now awarded a additional scholarship to Amani.

Jacqueline Mungare Wilfred
Registered Nurse Program, Catholic University of Health and Allied Sciences

Jacqueline Wilfred became the third PSCTP scholarship recipient in 2016. She graduated from nursing school November 2019 and is now a Registered Nurse in Tanzania. She is currently submitting applications with the goal to continue her studies and fulfill her life dream of becoming a nurse midwife. While awaiting acceptance into a midwifery program, Jacqueline keeps busy as a volunteer in the community. She is working as a nurse in a local hospital and has agreed to be a mentor for several of our current scholarship recipients.

When asked about her thoughts regarding her education, Jacqueline wrote, “… it's a greater opportunity to develop skills and later impact the community and change lives positively. … Going back to school will give me a better opportunity to be better and serve better. … [I hope that] my journey can inspire someone in one way or the other and encourage them to join the noble course. Thank you for your continued support and be blessed.”

The Phil Simon Clinic Tanzania Project| P.O. Box 50403 Pasadena, CA 91115 | psctp501c3@gmail.com

©2018 The Phil Simon Clinic Tanzania Project 501(c)(3)

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