Quincy has been an Our Moon scholar since 2016. She graduated last August from our programme.
Quincy’s father died when she was very young. There is no safety net in Zambia – no benefits system and few jobs for people like Quincy’s mother who only had a little schooling and few skills. Some of her mother’s relatives took Quincy in to ease the financial burden.
It took her mother a few years to save up for the bus fare to visit Quincy. When she visited her, she was horrified to find her, a five year old, doing all the chores for the extended family – cleaning, cooking, washing. And all by hand – they don’t have electrical appliances to make life easier for them.
Her mother ‘snatched’ Quincy and they went into hiding. Life was really hard. They had to beg for food from their neighbours and Quincy was bullied at school. She talks sadly of ‘living a sub-human life’.
She had a lucky break when she went to live with her aunt in Lusaka who managed to get Quincy into a good school. There, she thrived. She excelled academically and her confidence grew. By the time Our Moon came to interview her, she was a self-assured young woman with great grades and a determination to make a difference within Zambia. But she still had no obvious route to progress her education or career. Only 0.2% of Zambians have the chance to attend university.
Through Our Moon’s programme, Quincy has just started studying Economics and Psychology at University of Edinburgh on a full scholarship provided by MasterCard Foundation. The scholarship includes taking part in summer schools and internships in Africa and in the UK to help develop employability skills, a greater understanding of how to solve the challenges back home and invaluable networks of similarly minded young Africans.
Quincy says “I look at my nation and I see many challenges which I believe are down to poor economic policies leading to excessive borrowing. My hope is that through studying economics, I will be able to drive through sound and ethical policies that better our country”.
If you would like to make a donation to Our Moon, please either go to our website: www.ourmoon.org.uk or contact Helen on 07720 287904. Helen says, “Any donation you make will be match funded and, if you are a UK tax payer, we can also claim Gift Aid on your donation. So, £25 becomes £56.25 and £100 becomes £225. Please help us make the dreams of other students, like Quincy, a reality by donating during this window”.