I am Emil Turatsinze, son of Evarist nshimimana and venantie mukratabana. I was born in 1988 in Kigali and am the eldest in a family with three children.

My dad graduated from high school. He worked as a primary school teacher. My mother finished her first three years of high school and worked as a hospital maid.

My life was hard from a young age. My family was poor and there were many misunderstandings between my parents. My father struggled with managing our finances; he was unable to support his family, but he really didn't care. My mother was modest ... pay and take care of us financially and emotionally. My parents divorced when I was nine. As the oldest child in the family, I felt the need to protect my younger brother and sister, but I was too young to do anything. I was ashamed of my situation, especially knowing that my father was there, but he didn't contribute to our prosperity.

At the age of 12, I did well enough in the state exam to get into a public high school. My father came home that day to congratulate me and gave me some school supplies. He died three months later of an illness.

Once I was eligible to attend secondary school, my biggest problem was figuring out how I would pay for it. My mother did not make enough money to cover even the basic necessities for all of us. Since I used to get high marks in school, she would use my transcripts to beg for money to pay for my school. One neighbor promised she would give me a little money every term. Later, I was accepted among disadvantaged students, and my district paid half of the school fees. My mother was responsible for providing the other half of the fees for school and school supplies.

While in school, I thought the only way to improve my life was to work hard, and I was determined to do so. I wanted to pursue a career that would be meaningful. When I took a Biology and Chemistry section, I realized I wanted to become a doctor. To do this, I had to work even harder, and I did my best not to disappoint myself or my mother who was striving to take care of the family. I completed secondary school with distinction.

Afterward, I was selected as a Generation Rwanda Scholar. I was surprised but thankful. Now I am a student at the National University of Rwanda (NUR), studying General Medicine, and quite convinced that I will become someone important for the society in the near future.

I thank my mother for everything she has done for me and everyone else who has helped me along the way. I am especially grateful to Generation Rwanda and its donors who are helping me to become a man I wished I could become. God bless you.

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