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My name is Charity. I completed my IT degree at the University of Johannesburg.
Here is my story:
I am an orphan, my mother passed away when I was 8, my dad passed away when I was 12 and it broke me. Life became really difficult that I almost dropped out of high school but GOD came through for me. I took a gap year because there was no money to start school and to also save up money to start my degree and I am happy to say I started in 2019 at the University of Johannesburg.
The University covered a part of my fees in first year. As I was going into my second year I was awarded a scholarship, this was a dream come true. I did not pay registration fees in 2020 because the scholarship would take care of it and I was unblocked to register. However, when I thought my troubles were over the scholarship was withdrawn because I was an international student using a study visa. This broke me even more, we were in a pandemic most people had lost their jobs, where was I going to get one to finance my studies since the scholarship was covering everything. I made many trips to finance at UJ to try and get funding but I was informed there was no funding due to the pandemic and the available external bursaries needed an ID.
In 2021 I am grateful the University let me register even though the scholarship had been withdrawn and I had historical debt. I got a job as an assistant and tutor and I was able to have money to sustain myself. Due to the unpaid fees I have no idea how my results were in second and third years, I trusted the update from the University that said "congratulations you have passed" or "you have obtained your degree". I managed to get a job offer as a Graduate Software Engineer but I cannot start working before I am issued a work visa which I applied for at Home Affairs however they ceased my application because I need to submit a certificate.
I am not able to get my certificate because of the unpaid fees. I am at my wit's end, I have no idea what to do. I have been so depressed. I have no idea where to get R147 343 to pay my fees. I thought of ending my life several times because I see no way out. I have approached companies in my home country but they all say they have no jobs nor money, the companies abroad need proof of qualification, and the ones in South Africa need a visa. I am taking online surveys and transcription jobs to try and have the bare minimum (food and rent) however it is not enough and therefore the nights grow darker and lonely as I try to make a living. I am trying to find a way to pay my fees but it all seems to be difficult.
I am a 22-year-old with a passion for software development girl trying to make it in life. I have reflected on my life and I look back on the 15-year-old who had the dream to finish high school, go to university and be a software engineer. But that same girl also has dreams to start working, build an orphanage, and take care of my siblings. I am posting this here because this is my last hope to try and pay my fees and get a job that sustains me while I wait for my visa.
Please assist me to pay my fees and have money to sustain myself.
- Charity Chichichi
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