This is Revo.

This is Revo. 

Revo is twenty-four years old and a student who has been helped by Make A Difference (MAD) Now.

The proof of MAD’s success lies within the life of Revo. He grew up in the Uru-Shimbwe village in Tanzania. He was living with his father and step-mother until his father passed away from several health issues.

Revo was sent to live with his mother when his father passed away.

His mother struggled to take care of Revo so she sent him to his aunt and uncles home.

It was at this time when two women, Irene and Lily, entered his village in search of children needing quality education and a chance at a better life.

The village leader suggested the women visit Revo’s home, as he needed help. The women visited Revo and spoke with his family about his situation and eventually sent Revo with these them to get support.

Sitting across from me under a shade-tree at the MAD guesthouse, Revo shared, “I was 14 then and even when I got in the vehicle with these two women I didn’t know where I was going. I thought they would take me back to the village later, but they didn’t.”

The women brought Revo to an orphanage.They told Revo they were traveling to Arusha, another town in Tanzania, to make money in order to send Revo to school.

A few weeks later, the women returned and brought Revo to Royal Academy, a boarding school. When they later realized how challenging it was to pay for Revo’s school fees, food, clothing and medical needs they turned to MAD to take over supporting and caring for Revo.

Revo (left) and Deo (Right) with a current MAD student

At Royal Academy Revo excelled in his studies and was president of the student body, as a primary school student.  At the time Royal didn’t have a secondary school so when Revo graduating from primary school MAD researched the best schools in the Kilimanjaro areas and helped get him into Tengeru Secondary School. At Tengeru he was one of the top students. For advanced level they were hoping to get him a scholarship at the International School of Moshi (ISM). However, when no scholarship came they found a way to pay for his schooling so that he could have access to the quality education and more opportunities to success.

Adjusting to an international school where there was regular homework and assignments due online wasn’t easy, but Revo worked hard and eventually graduated from ISM.

MAD wanted to make sure Revo was given every opportunity to success and go as far as he could due to his hard work. They set him up with a guidance counselor and together decided that Revo should apply to Duke University for early admissions. Duke gives full ride scholarships to scholars and they also have a strong presence in Moshi. In order to prepare Revo for his college application, MAD paid for numerous trips for Revo to go to Dar es Salaam (10 hours from Moshi) so that he could be tutored on the SAT, ACT as well as essay writing.

Revo eventually applied to Duke and got an interview which he was nervous in having. Before starting the interview, Revo had to share with the interviewers that the power could go out during the interview.

They said that was okay.

He got accepted and has attended Duke University for one year now.

Revo is currently in Tanzania for summer break visiting family and friends and completing an internship with MAD.

When Revo left Tanzania he thought he wanted to pursue computer science but now he has changed to statistics. At Duke he sings in an African A Capella group called Amamdla, which means “power”.

He hopes to play in intramural soccer leagues next year.

When I asked Revo about the difference between US education and TZ education, he said that TZ education is much more rigid in strict studies whereas the US education encourages more extracurriculars.

He also noticed that teachers in the US expected students to participate in class discussion whereas in TZ students do not speak often.

Revo is a true success story of what MAD does.

He is now a great role model for younger students just like him. He shows that hard work does pay off.

It’s not hard to believe the name “Revo” means “The Persistent One” in latin.  

Although Revo has been through a lot, his journey has only just begun. He looks to the future with bright eyes and a cheerful heart for all that is possible.

Persistence is key. 

You can check out MAD’s website and profiles of the children they sponsor by going to:

Words and photos by travel writer Emilee Struss, @emileemaestruss.



About gomadnowvolunteer

Make a Difference (MAD). An organization which provides quality educational opportunities to vulnerable children. #volunteer #scholarships #orphans #Africa
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One Response to This is Revo.

  1. Erika says:

    Happy Birthday Revo! You’ve accomplished so much already, we’re excited to see where the future takes you! We sure miss spending time with you at the guest house! How exciting that you had the opportunity to meet Jane Goodall! Amazing! We’re hoping to see you when you’re in San Francisco – Let’s make a plan!
    – Erika, Sierra, Skye & Barbara

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