Orphaned, and born in a war torn country. One History Maker’s journey to academic accomplishment.

Read his story and be inspired…

My name is SalathielNtakirutimana, a proud beneficiary of a History Makers’ scholarship. Born in Burundi during a time of war, I lost my mother at a tender age, and in 1995 my Father was brutally murdered in our family home. Daily life became a struggle and we fled to a refugee camp in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where there was no access to clean water and food, and we were constantly surrounded by disease and death. I longed for an opportunity to go to school and with only my faith to rely on I remained grounded on the Word, confident that God would intervene.

In 2010, I was blessed with a distinct opportunity to join the Higher Life Foundation family; I became a History Maker and went to study at the prestigious Waterford Kamhlaba UWCSA in Swaziland. I am now a student at Harvard University where my experiences have been very enriching and have positioned me as a global leader. I serve on the Youth board of the UN Secretary General’s Global Initiative for Education where I have had the opportunity to meet and learn from many of the leaders who are shaping the future of the world including the UN Secretary General’s Global Envoy for Education Mr. Gordon Brown. I impact the world by sharing my experiences, and in February 2013 I was invited by Women Thrive Worldwide, a Global NGO to speak at their 5th Annual International Women’s Day (IWD) Breakfast on Capitol Hill.

I would have never had these opportunities had Higher Life Foundation not invested in my life. I would like to thank the Higher Life Foundation Patrons the Masiyiwa family for their vision, for believing in young people and raising a leader in me. Today, I am optimistic that my country, Burundi, is destined for greatness. To contribute, I have started a youth organisation, Youth Globe, which aims at inspiring young Burundians to work together, seize current and future opportunities for a better Burundi. Through Youth Globe, I envision a generation of well- informed, responsible and enterprising Burundians.

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About Strive Masiyiwa

Strive Masiyiwa is the Founder and Executive Chairman of Econet, a diversified global telecommunications group with operations and investments in over 15 countries. His business interests also include renewable energy, financial services, media and hospitality. Masiyiwa serves on a number of international boards, including Unilever, Rockefeller Foundation, the Council on Foreign Relations’ Global Advisory Board, the Africa Progress Panel, the UN Secretary General's Advisory Board for Sustainable Energy, Morehouse College, Hilton Foundation's Humanitarian Prize Jury and the Kenjin-Tatsujin International Advisory Council. He is one of the founders, with Sir Richard Branson, of the global think tank, the Carbon War Room, and a founding member of the Global Business Coalition on Education. Masiyiwa took over the Chairmanship of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) from Kofi Annan. He is also Chair of the Micronutrient Initiative, a global organization focused on ending child hunger and improving nutrition. In 2012, Masiyiwa was invited by President Obama to address leaders at the Camp David G-8 Summit on how to increase food production and end hunger in parts of Africa. In 2014, Masiyiwa was selected to Fortune Magazine’s list of the “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders”. As a philanthropist, he is a member of the Giving Pledge, and his contributions to education, health and development have been widely recognized. Masiyiwa and his wife finance the Higher Life Foundation, which provides scholarships to over 42,000 African orphans. In 2015, he was the recipient of the International Rescue Committee’s Freedom Award and was presented with a UN Foundation Global Leadership Award for the work of the Africa Against Ebola Solidarity Trust, which he chairs and helped establish to fund the deployment of African healthcare workers to combat the outbreak in West Africa.

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