A loan of $500 helped to purchase a laptop for her studies.


Sepiso's story

Sepiso is a 19-year-old full-time student at African Leadership Academy (ALA), a two-year pre-university program in Johannesburg, South Africa, with a mission to identify, develop, and connect Africa’s future leaders.

Sepiso was selected as one of 95 ALA students out of a pool of over 3,000 applicants from across the continent for her passion for public service, her commitment to Africa, and her demonstrated leadership potential to lead change in Africa and beyond.

Sepiso is applying for a loan of $500, which will enable her to purchase a laptop to conduct assignments and research, to run her community service project and/or student-run business which forms part of the ALA curriculum, and to participate fully in the world-class program offered by ALA.

Sepiso comes from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where she lives with her uncle and aunt and two siblings. A true entrepreneurial leader, Sepiso views challenging situations as opportunities to bring about positive change. In Tanzania, Sepiso was concerned about her family’s dire financial situation and decided to do something about it.

Sepiso started a vegetable garden on a small piece of land at the back of her family home, despite her very limited knowledge of agriculture and an extremely skeptical reaction by her family. Determined to create a sustainable vegetable garden that would help her family, Sepiso sought the help of her peers to find out how to go about the small farming project. Against the odds, Sepiso was able to successfully grow a flourishing vegetable garden. Sepiso displays perseverance when it comes to achieving her goals: when heavy rain began to wash away vegetables, Sepiso responded by creating a small drainage system. This vegetable garden now supplies her family all the vegetables it needs and also produces enough vegetables to sell to some of the neighbors in their community, thereby providing Sepiso’s family with additional income. “This project made me see that even small sacrifices have large beneficial outcomes,” says Sepiso.

Sepiso is also incredibly compassionate. After one of her aunts died from AIDS, Sepiso committed to volunteering at a clinic for HIV-positive children. “It is not enough to imagine the possibility of an HIV- free Africa, but [we need] to make it possible,” she says. Sepiso plans to create an orphanage for children affected by HIV.

Passionate about medicine, Sepisio plans to become a doctor and to ultimately specialize in the treatment of cancer. “In Tanzania, hundreds of people die every day from cancer, often because they are uneducated about the disease and do not have access to adequate facilities,” says Sepiso. Sepiso plans to impact Africa by educating people on the importance of early treatment and treating patients diagnosed with cancer. “A healthy population can build a healthy nation,” she explains.

Sepiso is also a gifted student and was awarded as the best student in Mathematics in a nationwide competition. She also occupied several leadership positions at school including running the Environment Club, which initiated and ran projects to promote environmental cleanliness.



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