Portia Nyoni was born in Lukosi Village, 10 kilometres from Hwange town in Zimbabwe. Orphaned as a little girl and one of five children, Portia and her siblings went to live with their grandmother. Fortunately, her grandmother was a firm believer in the importance of education, and while they struggled to make ends meet, her grandmother and other relatives strove to ensure that Portia and her siblings could go to school.
Achieving good grades in her early years at school, Portia earned herself a scholarship through another organisation, which paid for her primary and secondary schooling. Portia worked hard to ensure that she never disappointed herself or her sponsors, and graduated high school with flying colours. Unfortunately, her sponsors were unable to take her any further, so she stayed at home and got married.
Sadly, Portia lost her husband a few years into their marriage. With a young daughter to care for, her in-laws sent her back to live with her relatives in Lukosi. A chance meeting with a group of Overseas Adventure Travellers who had come on a village tour saw Portia’s path happily collide with CITW. Upon hearing her story and wanting to help, Portia joined the CITW Scholarship Programme in 2017 and was accepted to study a teaching diploma at Bondolfi Teacher’s College in Masvingo.
Through good grades, Portia earned several awards from the college. Some of them monetary prizes, she started saving money to do her driver’s licence – something that she is very proud of. She also took part in extracurricular activities such as choir and volleyball coaching, travelling around the country taking part in competitions. A highlight of her travels includes visiting Great Zimbabwe.
Portia has always wanted to inspire children who have a similar background to herself. During university holidays she would tutor primary school students from her village. This has given her much experience in teaching, and she finds it very fulfilling. Now in her final year at Bondolfi, Portia’s long-term goal is to further her studies in education and with a degree in Early Childhood Development (ECD). This will enable her to establish an ECD centre or orphanage where she can mentor children and help them grow into responsible individuals.
Of her overall experience, Portia says that it “would not have been possible without the financial support I’m receiving from my sponsors through Children in the Wilderness, and for this I am forever grateful. I can see my dream of pursuing a career in ECD becoming a reality. This will not only make me understand my child better but will also help orphans and other vulnerable children from my community”.
Report by Cynthia Ndiweni