Our young sponsored lady, Fola Ajakaiye, is at this time on campus at Eastern Illinois University, registering for her fall classes! We have spoken by phone a number of times, and have attempted to guide her as she is cautiously exploring campus life. What a change from life in an African City and what a change in her life !! You may remember that she came to us last February as a cancer patient. Without intervention and help she was going to be left to die. Now she has been treated, she is well, and is embarking on her pursuit of a degree in nursing!!
Here’s where things get complicated. The university admitted her, and sponsored her for a visa which was readily granted, and she busily fund-raised in Abuja, Nigeria, and came up with $2100 for her airfare all by herself! She called us on Friday night to let us know she was in Chicago, and would be heading to the college campus, 3 hours south of Chicago on Monday.
Monday she arrived and checked in at the international admissions office, and was completely blown away when she was told that her education would cost just over $30,000 a year. No discussion of the financial aspects of her education took place prior to her arrival on campus.
It’s hard to believe that a respected institution of learning, while sponsoring a visa, would let this discussion pass but that is the situation I spoke yesterday with both the admissions office, and the university housing office, and both confirmed that no disclosure of anything had been made to anyone.
So now our task here at AGYEI is to help Fola, and we have had some emergency meetings to put together an immediate plan. We have contacted some of the kids in Nigeria who have graduated the program, and they have promised to make contributions from their earning. We expect that this will yield between $7000 and $8000. Fola will try to obtain a part time job on campus which would help, although we don’t expect salaries to be high for such jobs. We will contribute what we can, but of course this whole thing is totally unexpected, and we still have our long standing obligations to those kids in Africa who are still working towards independence.
As is the case with all other kids, Fola has agreed to set aside a portion of her earnings, once she is working as a nurse, to sponsor and help others in the program. This system was put in place last year, and has been working splendidly. The kids who are currently receiving help know that their turn will come to help others, and they have been uniformly enthusiastic about it.
That being said and done, there is still a considerable amount of money we will have to raise in the next few weeks and months.
WE NEED YOUR HELP! Click Donate and Help Fola directly. We also ask that you pass this letter on to your friends and family members and ask those who are able to contribute. All donations are fully tax deductible. Please help this lovely young woman achieve her goal of becoming a nurse.