John Medo Shares His Story

John Medo was the very first student supported by The School Fund.  While he awaits his A-Level exam results that will determine if he may attend University, John is interning for TSF in Iringa and assisting TSF advisor, Fuad Abri.  John wrote up a short bio below including his first interactions with TSF and TSF’s founder, Matt Severson.  In the coming weeks, John will be conducting interviews with a few other The School Fund students supported in Iringa. Stay tuned!

John Medo and Matt Severson in Karatu, Tanzania; Summer 2013.

John Medo and Matt Severson in Karatu, Tanzania; Summer 2013.

My name is John Medo. I was born in 1993 and am now 21 years old. I live with my mom and my father, I have two brothers, and two sisters.  My father is a carpenter and my mom is a small agricultural farmer.

During my whole life, I have been living with my family and life has not been that simple and easy. When I went to primary [school], my mom had to sell some dry vegetables and get some money to pay for our primary fees. My brother and [my elder] sister did not go for further studies but my younger siblings are now in secondary [school].  They are [both] in form two. This is because my sister failed the exams so she has to re-sit.

My father is not employed therefore he is just getting a little money and due to the hardness of life, he became an alcohol user, so life became very difficult for all of us and I thought I could not go to secondary [school].

I was very tired of life. This was because father could come home late and drunk and then from there he [would] start disturbing [us] and spend some time fighting with my mother and he destroying things.  This was all because of alcohol. Alcohol made our life hard.

In 2007, I met Matt and he became my friend. I did my standard seven exams and I passed, [allowing me to continue] on to secondary school.  Matt promised me he [would pay for me to go to] school through a letter which he wrote, but the money was needed at school right away, so my mother had to sell her cow and I went to form one. God is great, Matt came and he paid the form two fees up to date.

But still home life is not that easy though my dad has changed, he no longer drinks alcohol, and he loves his family and wife.  It’s only that he does not have a permanent job. My mom is very wise she keeps on drying vegetables and sells [them] during national festivals and she gets some money to [support] the family though she is not getting enough but some where it helps. So they all collect a little money to [support] the family and the same money they get from their small work is [what allows] my younger sister and brother [to attend school].

I believe that my career was almost endangered by the fight [between] my father and mother. I love them and I couldn’t let them fight. I would think ‘when will this end,’ but now things are ok and there is no more fighting.  The fighting was [caused] because my parents have no education aside from a primary education.  Otherwise, our life would have been very good.  That is life in Africa. Most families have no education and they end up not taking care of their family.

I love my family and I would like that one-day I help them to forget their past and enjoy the good life. I can only achieve this by having the key of life and that is education.

My mom and dad now think positively. They think, if they get enough capital, they will start a business and that business will be for my younger siblings’ fees and the basic needs of the family.  They are Christians and they believe in God and that one day their time will come but now they will keep on collecting a little money.

My brother works with an organization that deals with street children, so he also gets something from there and he saves for himself and he gives our mom something for my sister.  [My sister] is just at home but she thinks about applying for jobs in the hotels where she will be get a little money for her and her daughter.  I told [my younger siblings] to study and invest their time in books even if the fees are not paid.  Let them at least concentrate.  At the end, we will all change our lives and our family and one day we shall live a wonderful life.

For me, I believe in education. Many bad situations for my family have affected my education in one-way or the other, but I am still happy that am getting an education and I love it. I wish to become a President. I pray to God that my dreams come true. This is because I love to help individual people and the world at large.

The School Fund has been my savior. I love it and I will always work with it and I will be helping it where necessary because it has a vision and it has seen the tears of very many.  I can say The School Fund, for me, is like a gift of life from God directly because it has changed my life from nothing to something. It has helped me with so many more things than my education.  Because of it, I now know many places and many people.

My aim is [to help] all students [access] their right to education and I will support TSF because its make sure it do whatever it can to help the upcoming generation [especially those] who are failing to afford [their school fees].  What I can say is that I love The School Fund and the people who run it.  Thanks given to Matt and his family who met me.  Together we have agreed to change the world and to have an educated generation.

I am glad that I now am waiting for my Form Six results.  Later on, if all goes well, I will be joining a university for further study, but meanwhile I don’t have any challenges aside from [encouraging] other kids, who are supported by TSF, to journal and communicate with their donors.

My heart beats for The School Fund.

Love, excellence, and peace,

John Medo

One thought on “John Medo Shares His Story

  1. Dear TSF Team:

    Greetings from India, where I am gathering stories about ultra poor families procuring work through our other wonderful partner, Upaya Social Ventures.

    My warmest congratulations to you on this brave, inspiring story! Do you think John would allow us to reprint it on Seeds of Hope this summer?

    Please send my congratulations on a job well done to John and Sandra. Fuad must be a good mentor, yes?

    Great storytelling–

    Suzanne Suzanne Skees, Director/Writer Skees Family Foundation



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