Name: Habiiba Malinga
Pestalozzi Scholar: 2012-2014
I am Habiiba Malinga, and I now study Economics and Political Science at the University of California, Berkley.
I plan to pursue a career in International Law and Development, and aspire to provide better futures for children in vulnerable communities such as war-torn areas, slums, and places vulnerable to the harshness of global climatic change.
My father owned a computer training school until he got involved in politics and lost everything in 2000, so when I went to school in Kampala, the school paid the fees. My family was struggling financially and we moved to the slums of Kamwokya. I managed to get a scholarship to Pestalozzi International Village to study the International Baccalaureate for two years. This was where I gained exposure to the world, and I became interested in development.
After that I went back to Uganda and ended up working with the children in my neighbourhood. It was a real eye-opener and made me realise that these children were unlikely to escape poverty without someone giving them a positive childhood.
I volunteered with a charity called Team Kenya working to motivate children to stay in school. I also worked at a children’s resource centre, helping to teach slum children how to read, write, paint and play. I was then lucky enough to gain a MasterCard Foundation scholarship.