Growing up in the Democratic Republic of Congo was not easy for Clarice Ndaya Kadima. "My father is a retired pastor within the West Congo Annual Conference and my mother is unemployed. As the last child born in my family, I am the only daughter remaining in our household who is dependent on my father's income which is not enough," said Kadima. She recalls being admitted to Africa University but did not the funds to register for classes. "I saw other students registering, posting pictures on Facebook and sharing that they had begun attending classes. I felt like giving up," she continued. But she never gave up.
Kadima learned about World Communion Sunday scholarship from Bishop Mande Muyombo, Episcopal leader of the North Katanga Area in the Congo Central Conference. She applied and received the World Communion Sunday Leadership scholarship through the General Board of Global Ministries. "The United Methodist Church has provided funds and still providing it for my studies since undergraduate and now at the master's level that I am currently pursuing. Receiving this scholarship has changed my life and made my dreams come alive. I use to hear people talk about miracles but today I can testify of the miracles in my life because the World Communion Sunday scholarship covers my tuition , accommodation, and immigration fees," said Kadima.
Kadima has big plans for the future after she graduates. "As I study for a Master's degree in Public Policy at Africa University, I am being prepared to be useful within my community. My training will help me address health care issues which is a major need because the cost of health services are beyond affordability for ordinary citizens. The need is so great that people have resorted to self-diagnosis and medication, which is very risky. As I have thought about addressing access to healthcare, I have come to realize that if we do not prevent these health challenges, we will always need assistance from outside our country when there is an epidemic," said Kadima.
Elsie Cunningham, freelance writer, UMCom retiree, now living in Jamaica
One of six churchwide Special Sundays with offerings of The United Methodist Church, World Communion Sunday calls the church to reach out to all people and model diversity among God's children. The special offering provides World Communion Scholarships, the Ethnic Scholarship Program and the Ethnic In-Service Training Program.