Stu­dent en­gi­neers a brighter fu­ture

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - News -

TO live a medi­ocre life or move across the globe to build a bet­ter fu­ture for her fam­ily was the heart-wrench­ing de­ci­sion one mother was forced to make.

The most heart­break­ing part for Zim­babwe-born Boiketo Maz­i­beli was hav­ing to leave her six-year-old daugh­ter be­hind.

In July 2013, the 26-year-old made the gutsy move to Bent­ley to pur­sue her dream of study­ing min­ing en­gi­neer­ing at Curtin Uni­ver­sity.

“I thought there were bet­ter op­por­tu­ni­ties for me here be­cause at home, in terms of min­ing, there are lots of chal­lenges,” she said.

“As a fe­male fig­ure in the in­dus­try, it’s re­ally hard to get where you want.

“Hav­ing to move away by my­self and hav­ing no one to de­pend on is re­ally hard – we are in to­tally two dif­fer­ent worlds.”

Ms Maz­i­beli has not seen her daugh­ter, who is at­tend­ing board­ing school in Zim­babwe, since she left.

She said they talk on the phone, but it is not the same as be­ing able to watch her daugh­ter grow up.

“It's re­ally hard to be so far away from her,” Ms Mazineli said. “I talk to her ev­ery week­end.”

Grow­ing up, Ms Maz­i­beli and her fam­ily faced hard­ships, which have given her cop­ing mech­a­nisms for the fi­nan­cial strug­gle she now faces. “I come from a pretty big fam­ily – five kids,” she said.

“It had its ups and downs. The most en­joy­able part was that as a fam­ily we were al­most al­ways to­gether.

“We did have chal­lenges in terms of hav­ing to pay school fees be­cause my dad was on and off work. My mum was a teacher and in terms of the econ­omy it wasn't too favourable.”

While in Perth, Ms Maz­i­beli re­ceived fi­nan­cial sup­port from her sis­ter in Zim­babwe.

But her sis­ter found her­self with­out a job, which meant she was no longer able to keep send­ing money.

Ms Maz­i­beli took up part-time work at Vick­ery House on the Bent­ley cam­pus as a hous­ing as­sis­tant where she re­sides.

Strug­gling to make ends meet, she was for­tu­nate to re­ceive fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance through the Sally Web­ster Hard­ship Fund.

“I don't think I'd be able to fin­ish pay­ing off my fees for this se­mes­ter with­out it,” Ms Maz­i­beli said. “Now it's def­i­nitely cer­tainthat I will be able to sit down for all four ex­ams, which is a big re­lief.”

Set­tling into Perth, the stu­dent hopes to stay here a bit longer.

“I'd love to gain ex­pe­ri­ence here and move my daugh­ter here to be with me and get a qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion that is be­ing of­fered here,” Ms Maz­i­beli said. ........... Natalie Naz­zari

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