One of the ways in which Rosebel contributes to the sustainable development of surrounding communities in Brokopondo is through the Rosebel Brokopondo Scholarship Program. This program enables the best students from Brokopondo to continue and successfully complete secondary school or higher education in Paramaribo. This year, the program delivered its 7th graduate; Sisrian Geddeman, who after ten (10) years in the program, now returns to the district as a Spanish teacher at Mulo Brownsweg.
Studying in Paramaribo
Her first year in Paramaribo as a teenager from the district was very challenging. "Paramaribo was a completely new environment for me and there were many adjustments. Where I was used to walking to school in my village, I was now taking the bus every day. I also had to be aware of my own responsibility, especially when it comes to budgeting and learning how to carefully manage the monthly allowance I received from Rosebel," Sisrian explained. Within the program, Rosebel also takes care of the technical and social guidance of the students. "This guidance has given me an edge over the other students despite all the challenges as a ‘district child’," she said.
Project grant sewing course
In 2016, the students within the program were given the opportunity to participate in a project writing training. As part of this training, the students identified, wrote, and presented a project idea. The best project idea could win a grant worth USD 5000. Sisrian wrote a project for a sewing course which was chosen as one of the best project ideas. She successfully carried out this project as a scholarship student in the villages of Klaaskreek and Brownsweg.
Spanish has always been Sisrian's favorite subject since high school, which is why she chose the Institute for the Training of Teachers (IOL) after successfully completing high schoo. “As a teacher, I want to instill the love I have for Spanish in my students,” she says. At the age of 26, Sisrian returns to the district as a Spanish teacher at Mulo Brownsweg, contributing to the development of the Brokopondo youth. Very strong-willed and confident in her abilities she says; “these students in Brokopondo also have the right to a good Spanish teacher".
A big thank you to Rosebel!
"Without this program, I would probably have to go through my study years in Paramaribo with a lot of stress. As a student in this program, I didn't have to think about how I would get money each month or where I would live. Rosebel really took away all my worries and that allowed me to fully concentrate on my studies. In addition, this program has contributed a lot to my personal growth and development," said a very grateful Sisrian. She also expressed her hope that the program will continue, because it is bearing fruit. To all the young people of Brokopondo starting another school year, Sisrian says: "donde hay gana, hay maña,” which means “where there is a will, there is a way.”