Before I was awarded the Pestalozzi scholarship, my parents could not have afforded to pay for me to study in the UK. Pestalozzi was a great opportunity for me because it helped me pursue the course I wanted to study. I have always had an interest in software; ironically I actually never used a computer until I was 17. One of my brothers used to tell me all about software development and encouraged me to pursue a career in this area if I should get the opportunity. I was 13 then and my passion for the unknown grew from there on, even though that course is not offered in Zimbabwe.
Attending university was an extension of the principles I got from Pestalozzi: that there is more to life than just the academics. I grew as a person in many dimensions. During my time at Brighton, I worked as a Teaching Assistant for the programming courses and I got several opportunities to do voluntary work in the community including at the YMCA (through the university’s Active Student program) and Brighton and Hove Asylum Seekers Project. I learnt how to be a responsible citizen of the community around me. I did voluntary work with the Refugees and Asylum Seekers Project as a befriender to young people from troubled countries, some who’d lost their families in war-torn areas of the world.
Upon completing my degree, I worked for Lloyds Banking Group for just under two years, where I undertook roles in Collections and Recoveries, as a Data Analyst in Change and Integration and finally as Data Manager, Group Financial Crime, Operational Risk, Insight and Framework. I then moved back to Zimbabwe where I briefly worked for Ernst and Young as a Senior Consultant in the Information Technology Risk Advisory Services. For the past year, I’ve been working at Deloitte and Touche where I am the Data Analytics Manager in the Risk Advisory Services department.
I am currently co-running a small charitable fund that educates orphaned children in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Pestalozzi and Pestalozzi supporters may never meet these children but it was you who sowed this seed in my heart and you are making a difference in more ways one. Pestalozzi changes lives, it makes a difference and it gives hope.
A mere ‘thank you’ could never be enough; human language is altogether inadequate to express my gratitude. Pestalozzi has inspired me (and I’m sure many other Pestalozzi students) to live a life of making a difference.
Please consider donating to Pestalozzi to support another generation of exceptional people like Sicelesile through their education.