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Egide – Once a Student, Now a Teacher in the same School
Monday, 14 February 2011 Written by Maja Sajler-Garmaz

Egide NzamurambahoEgide Nzamurambaho, twenty-eight years old is proud to belong to the first generation of students of the “CFJ Padri Vjeko” Vocational School, but also proud to be one of the first teachers who came from the very same school. Any comparison between the school as it used to be in the beginning and as it is now is impossible, Egide tells us.

When I started attending the school, there were 20 of us in the class. Very soon, eleven dropped out! They would go to their homes during the break and their parents wouldn’t let them come back any more. They hadn’t been able to afford a meal for their children, so it was less costly for the parents to send them work for a wage on someone’s land.

It was when Fra Ivica instituted a com-pulsory regular daily meal in the school for all students, that parents realized that sending their children to school is one less worry at home. And that’s when it all started to get better, Egide continues his story.

After he completed his own schooling, he immediately got a job in CFJ Padri Vjeko School, but not as a teacher. His first job involved the “in-school production area”. He made desks, chairs, cupboards, etc. for the classrooms. During his time off, he worked to perfect his trade skills by furnishing many houses in the village. By making three chairs a day he could afford five and a half dollars (or 30 kuna) a day, which is fantastic if you live in Kivumu.

After working in production, he got a chance to prove himself as a teacher. Fra Ivica wasn’t going to leave anything to chance, so he sent Egide for further studies. He was twice to Uganda, and then also went to Canada where he spent four months improving his carpentry skills, in order to be able to pass on his experiences to future generations of carpenters.

Egide Nzamurambaho

“When I went to Canada, it was a big change for me. To be honest, I thought how it would be good to remain there. Then I would remember my family, my two brothers and two sisters. They were the reason I went for this training in the first place! And I didn’t make a mistake. It is hard; I am the only one who is earning money for the entire family, but... you know, I’m getting married this year, and the house I got from the school as a teacher is something I wouldn’t be able to achieve anywhere in the world”, Egide tells us.

At the same time he points out that Fra Ivica helps them on a daily basis – he made it possible for them to get an education, get additional education; he found a job for them, and a steady source of income. All of the teachers got houses, and every day they can rely on him when it comes to organizing the classes. And the teachers, just like the students, receive a warm meal every day in school.

Remembering his beginnings as a teacher, smiling, Egide tells us how he was very shy in front of the students. Today he is already an instructor and supervisor of new teachers...

Translated to English by: fra Branimir Mlakić
Edited by: Valerie Kae Ken

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