Waterford asylum seeker asks public for help to go to college
An asylum seeker living in Tramore has launched a Go Fund Me campaign to put himself through college at Waterford Institute of Technology.
Manzi Joseph, who is originally from Rwanda, launched the campaign last week and to date, through two separate Go Fund Me pages, has raised over €10,000.
Manzi's family fled Rwanda due to genocide in 2003, and having failed to get asylum in Malawi, travelled to Ireland and became an asylum seeker in 2015.
Manzi has set about educating himself in Ireland and have achieved a Leaving Certificate here. He improved his English by participating in ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) in the ETB in Tramore. He also completed an ECDL course and is an avid volunteer, helping out at both St. Vincent de Paul, Tramore and the annual Winterval Festival as a Welcome Ambassador.
In 2017, he completed a Level 5 PLC course in Information Technology at St. Paul’s Community College, receiving distinction in all subjects. He then pursued and acquired a place on the Level 8 'Internet of Things' degree programme at WIT, but Manzi says, "I do not have the means to fund my college fees."
He has since set up the Go Fund Me campaign in order to complete the course having received an offer through the 2017 CAO programme.
"I am now in a fund finding situation as I do not have the means to fund my college fees, which amount to €3,819 in each of the four years of my Level 8-degree course," Manzi said.
"I am not able to work because I’m not allowed to work and I only earn €21.60 weekly and am also not able to receive SUSI or any assistance from the Irish state in relation to funding," he added.
"My dream has always been to be an IT graduate and being accepted onto this degree course has made my dream come."
Waterford Area Partnership supported Manzi into the Level 5 PLC course in 2016, however, on discussion with WAP, their 2017 support do not extend to degree fees, however, their support will allow him to buy books or to pay for travel, but these expenses are not included in the €3,819 fee.
"I have spoken to St. Vincent de Paul who cannot assist me this year, however, they can assist me with supports towards my second year in September 2018."
In his post on Go Fund Me, he writes, "I would greatly appreciate if you could consider my application for supports. Your support would enable me to continue my dream in Ireland. It would also ensure my years in Ireland as an Asylum Seeker are put to great use."
You can support Manzi's campaign by clicking here.
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