“I want to inspire young children – both males and females to prioritise education. This will reduce the current social challenges of gender-based violence, child abuse. Education will enable the society to understand human rights and ethics. Education will help people to escape the poverty trap and open opportunities which will eradicate poverty.”
Simon grew up with his mother and 8 siblings. He attended Lamadi Primary School and after completing his primary education stayed out of school for three years, due to lack of funds to support him in attending secondary school. He describes his childhood as a struggle, engaging in child labour to bring some money into his family home.
When able to, Simon attended Kishoju High School, nine hours by bus from home. He studied until he passed his Advanced Level, after which he returned to Lamadi and volunteered at his primary school, assisting with teaching. In 2014, he saw the Africa Foundation CLEF Bursary forms being distributed in the community and applied. He was awarded the bursary and studied a BA in Economics at Jordan University, 15 hours from Lamadi. He says that only through CLEF did he reach university, having struggled financially during primary and secondary school, he never imagined tertiary level education was an option available to him.
Simon graduated in 2017 and won the ‘Top Leader’ category at the annual CLEF Awards in 2018 and used his prize money to purchase stationary and textbooks for the top performing students at Lamadi High School. He is now employed as a project officer with an NGO called New Light Children Centre Organization which focuses on child development and assistance. He is enjoying the opportunity to gain experience in an NGO, and dreams one day of starting his own, focused on advocating for positive social change.