Zidane Ndatimana lives with his mother and 10 siblings. Coming from a poor family and facing difficult life conditions, in 2009, Zidane decided to go to the street.
Zidane joined MindLeaps dance program through its early partnership with FidesCo, another organization working with street children, back in 2011. His consistent hard work and discipline enabled him to be sponsored to join formal education at Sonrise Primary School in the Northern Province in 2012. Zidane’s commitment to get the best out of himself has always been inspiring. Despite his background, the lowest grade he has ever got is 67% in 6 years of his primary school studies.
Zidane made all of us proud in January when he scored in the first division in the National Exams. That means that he was one of the top performing students in all of Rwanda. No one could believe he used to be a street kid! Zidane was admitted to an excellent public high school in Rwanda called Lycee de Kigali.
Zidane has to walk almost half an hour to get to the bus every day. It is amazing to see how determined and passionate he is to become educated. Knowing that he was taking mid-term exams, I recently met him in the corridor at the MindLeaps Center and asked him how the tests are going. With a smile on his face, Zidane said, “I got the top-class grade in geography”. Considering his life conditions, I cannot explain how delighted I was to hear that. Even at secondary school, he continues to thrive!
Seeing such a great impact of the contribution of Zidane’s sponsors – including Jewish Helping Hands – is what motivates our team to wake up every morning to get to work at MindLeaps. We come energized and brave to serve these kids. We cannot thank you enough for your thoughtful and on-going investment in our work and our youth. Together, we are changing Rwanda.