Ubuntu, Ngumuntu, Ngabantu ‘A person is a person through other people’

Acha Patandjila, is a Congolese national privileged to study Media Communications in Canada at Humber College. She heard about the Student Refugee Program (SRP) from a friend. She applied and was admitted at Humber College to pursue her dreams. Acha shares her academic journey and life in Canada so far.

Life in Canada for me has been a point of reality check in every single aspect of my life be it academically, socially, and spiritually. I am constantly encouraged to chase after my dreams and aspirations especially in this part of the world where you can be anything. It has not been rainbows and roses, but it has been an adrenaline rush adventure having to experience cultural differences, new place, new people, new syllabus, missing family and friends back home, and having to make new friends too. Diving into a whole other level of independence sounds like a fantasy until it is reality, I have grown and so has my point of view in life. My motivation every day is the reminder of how many sacrifices had to be made for me to be here and my growing desire to also lend a helping hand to those that need it. I am thirsty for a change and it certainly starts with me.

In the future I aspire to be a film maker and influencer turning the African film industry by storm, representing Afrocentric stories that have remained untold and bringing them to the light. On my journey I want to be a vessel of helping other refugees on their journey to healing and restoration in one way or another. What I have learned over time is that it takes each one of us to save everyone else, we ought to unite in love and genuineness, apply all that we have learnt and move all together as my African spirit of Ubuntu (in short terms: Togetherness) encourages us.

What I would like to tell refugees out there is; Your tears do not go unseen, you are not what people label you, you are alive today which means there is a greater chance of hope for tomorrow, do not stop dreaming, do not stop working towards your dream, this is just the beginning of the story.

Ubuntu, Ngumuntu, Ngabantu translates “A person is a person through other people”. I know I do not speak for myself when I want to thank the World University Service of Canada, and Windle International Uganda through the Student Refugee Program for joining hands in unity to tirelessly fight for our futures. Whatever we are, whatever we will be will surely be possible because of their sacrifices and love, I am definitely grateful for that and may the Good God continue to bless you all.


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