The Resilient Medical Student


I have undertaken a number of work-related visits to Kampala, Uganda and I was moved by the inspiring story of Hibo Mohamed Yusuf, a medical student in Kampala International University at its western campus at Ishaka, West of Kampala, Uganda. Unfortunately, I did not have the opportunity to meet her in person in Uganda as my missions were confined to the capital city and she was studying in a relatively remote area. However, I had a previous acquaintance with her and managed to contact her through the phone and e-mail. I found her story inspiring and just liked to share it with the readers!

Five years ago, Hibo received  a three-year scholarship fund from UNESCO and she decided to enroll at a medical school, fully aware of the fact that medical school would need at least six years of fully- funded scholarship or otherwise reliable financial strategy.  But, determinedly, Hibo made her mind and firmly opted for this tough choice. In her high school, Hibo graduated from the famous Al-Aqsa school in Borama and graduated with honor. As an extra-curricular activity, Hibo was one of the founding members of Moonlight Girls Association, one of the most successful local associations in Borama, in particular and in Somaliland in general.

As expected, Hibo Mohamed Yusuf performed excellently in her university studies and attracted the hearts and minds of students, lecturers and school management alike. However, the scholarship fund was soon exhausted and Hibo had to find a sustainable way of financing her studies just at a time, she really previewed the significance of her studies and the consequent future waiting ahead. Cognizant and mindful the unease financial situation of her family back home, she had to come up with a brilliant idea that would enable her pursue her university studies. Hence, she unveiled another hidden quality – by becoming an entrepreneur and observing a need at the university campus – in which she unwaveringly and successfully seized. Hibo opened up a restaurant at the university campus and spent hours in preparing the restaurant menu on daily basis so that she will not only survive in the oversea life but would also find a sustainable way of financing her studies.

Day in day out, her restaurant was characterized of being customer-oriented, and providing good quality food at an affordable price. Interestingly, this has not compromised her education and grading even though one could guess the enormous amount of time and the dedication medical students have to pay in order to succeed their studies. Extraordinarily, Hibo continued to maintain her position in the class as well as her good grades in the examinations.

The business has experienced rapid growth and Hibo managed to hire additional staff in order to respond to the increasing demand that was coming from, mainly, the student population in the university campus. In this manner, Hibo managed to self-finance the cost of her studies for the remaining years of her program. As a result of her brilliant idea of opening up a small restaurant in the heart of the campus, Hibo succeeded to complete her education in that manner.

Finally, this extra-ordinary and successful medical student taught us an important lesson; that a determined student regardless of one’s sex, can succeed even under thorny circumstances if there is a real will to overcome those challenges. In addition, Hibo is posing a serious challenge to students whose family members are open-handedly covering their living and educational costs but yet failing and dropping out. My congratulations and admiration goes to Hibo Mohamed Yusuf for her resilience, determination and entrepreneurship.

Hibo Mohamed Yusuf just completed her medical studies at Kampala International University, in Uganda and now she is attached to Borama Regional Hospital as part of an internship program.

Source: Horusocod