A Successful story of a young woman ” Olive Bukuru” making her dream come true.
My name is Olive Bukuru. I was born in Makamba, Burundi in 1996. My family moved permanently to Nduta Camp, Tanzania months after my birth. I spent half my childhood in the camp. I attended both kindergarten and primary school there. Our everyday life was very difficult but we got through it. With the help of UNICEF, UNHCR and other nonprofit organization my family was resettled in Oregon in the summer of ’07. It was very difficult to fit in with my new community but everything worked out in the end. I learned to effectively speak and write English. I tackled the language barrier, cultural shock and other obstacles I faced along the way. I graduated Hillsboro High School with a Chancellors’ diploma in 2014 and got admitted into Portland State University. I’m currently a junior who’s pursuing a degree in Health Studies: Community Health with a minor in Black Studies and Aging services. I will be done with my Bachelor’s degree fall of 2018. Part of why I decided to pursue a degree in Health Studies has to do with my traumatic childhood. As a live here, I realize that I didn’t give anything to be in this wonderful place that is called America. I feel very strongly that my purpose is to help bring resources in underserved communities.
What will I do once I graduate?
Having accomplished individual goals and objectives doesn’t mean it’s the end of creating new ones. Keep going! Always try to better yourself by setting new goals. I decided to create the International Aid Relief because I believe that a change must be done in Burundi. In the words of Mahatma Ghandi, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” If I really want to see a change in Burundi, I must be the change I’m looking for. For years, the country of Burundi has struggled to move forward instead, they keep moving backward. Our healthcare is the worst when compared to other countries, our economic is just as bad, we have the lowest mortality rate, and our education is no doubt horrible. The list goes on and on. I want to bring a change for Burundian citizens by providing resources in unserved provinces in Burundi. I especially want to reach citizen belonging at the bottom of the social economic class. This organization will heavily serve citizens who lack access to basic things such as healthcare, education, clean water, food and many more. Our organization will also create programs that will promote recycling, women’s health care and rights, education and mostly importantly, we will create relief funds that will aid in expected disasters such drought.
How did I get to where I’m at now?
It is by the grace of God I am where I am at the moment. I have gone through so much but God has never left me or failed me. God has always been at every step of my struggles and has always showed himself by pulling me out of those situations. I’m so grateful that God gave me such wonderful parents. I couldn’t ask for better parents in this life than Jacob and Estella. They are the foundation and pillar of everything I know today. They have supported me since the day I said my very first word until now. I pray every day that they live long, continue to have good hearts, continue to be patient, continue to be loving towards all of my siblings and continue to seek God’s guidance in time of need.
Why have I come back to Burundi?
Burundi is my home. In the words of Marcus Garvey, “A tree without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” My heritage is a huge part of me, it’s my identity. My father always says, “Iy’ utaye akaranga, ub’utaye ibanga!” This translates to, “When you lose your identity, you lose your history!” Whatever culture you belong in, you should try your best and educate yourself. Educate yourself on your heritage and embrace everything that comes with your family’s culture. Keep the culture alive by celebrating old traditions and by bonding with family and relatives during big celebration and re-unions.
Word of advice:
During the course of my short life on Earth, I have learned the secret to a healthy and successful life. That secret is to respect your parents, always. Most parents genuinely want what’s best for their kids no matter what the circumstance is. Exodus 20:12 tells us to “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.” Always follow instructions from your parents. When in doubt, speak to them. They have all the resources at your disposal. Use them! I know sometimes things get tough and you feel like your folks are failing you and that “they just don’t care” but I guarantee you that they do and are doing the best they can. Be patient with them, the same way they have been with you. Honoring your parents like the word of God advises us to do is a great path to one’s success. Parents’ blessings are very precious especially on their kids.