Education Improves Our Chances of Leading Better Lives

Ives Kabayabaya Speech
Welcome Back To Africa Inauguration Ceremony
5 September 2014


For those who don’t know me, my name is Ives Kabayabaya. I am a Law student at Kingston University London and Founder of Welcome Back To Africa (WBTA). I am currently waiting for a student visa to travel to Turkey for ERASMUS programme where I will be attending Istanbul Bilgi University.

I am highly motivated by both my love of travelling and my commitment to spreading the WBTA ethos worldwide. I was born in Burundi and grew up in Mozambique, and I am multilingual; speaking Kirundi, French, Swahili, English and Portuguese. My dream has always been to use my talents to bring people together for them to be able to learn from each other, share experiences while creating a community where all are equal, breeding opportunities and brightening the futures of all involved. Along my travels, I came to the conclusion that what is essential and often missing in underdeveloped areas of the globe are role models and guidance to prospective students on how they can achieve their goals.

Today, we are taking this opportunity, to make a special appeal to you, as you need to be aware that educating millions of young African students must be an urgent priority. Nelson Mandela once said – “Education improves our chances of leading better lives.” Therefore, we should all agree that no child in Africa or anywhere in the world should be denied education. So much has already been done to improve opportunities for young students in Africa. One of WBTA goal is to help bridge the gaps created by physical borders, to create and sustain active and fruitful relationships not only between students but also universities and other teaching institutions across the world. We view ourselves as facilitators who assist in bringing these students together and creating opportunities for both individual growth and community-based enrichment.

Through our various projects, we aim to provide students in Africa with a gateway to the rest of the world where they can share their ideas and experiences and draw from the experiences of others to work towards a brighter future for themselves.  We believe that students, from all backgrounds all countries and all walks of life have positive and unique qualities that they can share with others and we aim to provide them with a platform to do so.

Through Kingston University Student Union and with help and advice from Charlie Shaw, Rian Nsenga, Henry Lindpere, Mobolaji Fagbure, Nara Said, Victoria Sheldrake, Michael Boateng, Dennis Aguma, Mustafa Tashkandi, Yodit Faseha, Sakina Jaffer, and my Personal Tutor Pamela Sellman who is not here today as well as my lecturer and about 23 official members for KU WBTA Society and over 200 supporters, I was able to create Welcome Back To Africa Society at Kingston University for the first time. We hosted many events in which we created an atmosphere where those students who are studying Law, Business etc. came together in order for them to be able to exchange their skills, ideas and experiences. You will hear more about KU WBTA society and how you can get involved or help from the current President Sati Nanndra.

My work involved planning the strategic of the society to fulfil our aim of organising volunteering projects to enhance the educational development of less fortunate students in Africa. So this time next year, KU WBTA Society members will enjoy an opportunity to travel to Kenya. The purpose of my trip to Kenya will be to identify the needs. WBTA charity has a bigger agenda, and one of them is to facilitate the birth of WBTA societies around the world.

WBTA Charity is on the process of getting registered as a Non-Profit-Organisation here in the UK, this will enable the charity to reach more people and get education institutions across the country and around the world to support our future projects. WBTA Charity will have their long-term agenda completely separated from KU WBTA Society. This will allow us to strengthen WBTA’s vision.

I would like to come to the conclusion of my speech by saying a big thank you to Rian, Sati, Adel, Shyla, Michael, Asha, Tamy, Nikki, Atlantik, Lewis, Nara and Diana for their commitment to lift up WBTA’s vision. I could not have done it myself without them.

Let’s give a round of applause to them.

Also, I would like to thank Tessa for her support regarding designing WBTA’s logo, designing today’s programme (fantastic WBTA Programme!); and Mo for his hard working regarding putting together all WBTA video.

Let’s give a round of applause to Tessa and Mo for all their valuable input.

Finally, I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who came today to support our vision of aiding the development of education in Africa.

You can go to our website and find out more information and make your donation.
Welcome Back To Africa – Our Journey So Far

Thank you, everyone

God bless you


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