Malik was born in the middle of a war zone in the Nuba Mountains region of Sudan. There was a civil war raging all around him. This was his childhood normal.
“The first time I went to school, I was very young. I followed my older sisters to school. I was naked, so the teacher chased me away,” says Malik with a wry smile, recounting his eagerness to learn.
His first classroom was the shade of a tree. He crouched on his haunches, scratching the alphabet into the dirt with his fingers as the teacher dictated. When enemy planes flew overhead, he and the other children ran for shelter from the bombs. Sometimes class was canceled, and he didn’t study for weeks or months while the villagers hid in caves.
Malik was always bright. He was the top of his class, and he learned English easily. As a young teenager, he was selected as a translator for international organizations that came through to offer relief to the war affected villages.
When he was 14, he left home and traveled hundreds of miles to pursue his high school education – moving from the warzone where he was born through two other African nations – first to South Sudan and then to Uganda.
Today, Malik is 21 years old. He has overcome many challenges and got his high school degree. He was twice the captain of his school’s soccer team, and his favorite classes were chemistry and biology. He even graduated in the top ten of 992 students!
Malik dreams of becoming a doctor. Medical care is not available in his home village, and he remembers watching people die of preventable diseases. His goal is to get professional medical training to return with skills to serve his people. Because the nearest medical facility is a six hour journey from his home, he wants to start clinics in the Nuba Mountains to provide accessible and affordable medical care.
Before any of his dreams can become a reality, Malik needs money for university. He has applied to study biochemistry/pre-medicine in the United States, at the recommendation of a doctor at a hospital where Malik interned last year. Before the school can officially invite him to the USA, he needs money in the bank as a financial guarantee. If we can raise $10,000 in June, $10,000 more in July, and any outstanding balance by August – this remarkable young man should be ready to enter the pre-medicine program at an American university.*
When you give toward Malik’s education, you’re not just helping one young man go to college. You’re investing in the wellbeing and future healthcare of an entire region of Africa.
Sometimes it takes a world to educate a child. Won’t you be part of Malik’s emerging story?
*Even if we cannot meet the financial goal to send him to an American university, all funds raised will still be used to further his education.
This is a post from my 6th Annual Birthday Fundraiser series. Read more here:
Would you please share Malik’s inspirational story with others?