Last week I had a chance to chat with one of our Mechanical Design faculty members, Egide Nimubona. You may have seen the recent Post-Crescent article featuring Egide: Fox Valley Technical College instructor starts education fund for Burundi. I didn’t know the full extent of Egide’s personal story until reading that article myself, and what a story it is! From walking up to five hours a day barefoot among the many dangers of the African terrain to go to school, to fleeing for his life in his country of origin, to becoming a U.S. citizen, I thought that was story enough. But it didn’t end there; his story got even better.
In talking with Egide, it was clear how very grateful he is for the opportunities he has been afforded in this country, say nothing of the sense of safety and security that he and his family feels here in northeast Wisconsin. These are such fundamental privileges to most of us that we don’t even think about them. Even attending school is a fundamental privilege for children in this country, but not in his homeland of Burundi. As one of our newest Americans, Egide is committed to giving back and helping other children get some level of education, helping to make some dent in the vicious cycle of poverty. It’s also a wonderful tribute to his father who clearly knew that an education was the only way his seven children would survive.
I applaud the triumphs of Egide and his family and wish him the very best with the endowment fund that will allow him to reach back and help children in one of the poorest countries in the world, his homeland. He may teach a very technical subject and have an engineering mindset, but this man has also got an incredible soft spot in his heart for others. It’s nice to see those attributes co-exist so nicely in a person. I am very proud of Egide.