From Scholar to Safari Guide: Isack’s Story

The story of TFFT Alumnus Isack Sufian demonstrates how people can thrive against all odds. Isack’s journey from very humble beginnings, to a prosperous position with a  safari company, is one of sadness, triumph, and inspiration.  

Isack was orphaned when he was just 4 days old.  His father had abandoned his mother before Isack was born, and his mother, who suffered from severe depression, died shortly after his birth. Unable to care for Isack, Isack’s family sought the assistance of Irente Children’s Home, a nearby orphanage. This became his home for seven years. 

At the age of seven, Isack’s grandparents took him in and registered him for Primary School education. At this young age, and given his life circumstances, Isack’s hopes for the future were not ambitious.  He saw a future that might include being a shopkeeper or housekeeper. While these dreams of the future seem small, if not life-limiting, this is the world in which Isack was raised. Isack never thought his education would extend beyond primary school, and he believed his options would be few.  

When asked why he thought his future would lead to work as shopkeeper or housekeeper Isack replied: “My grandparents were poor, and there was no one to pay for my Secondary School education. Becoming a housekeeper and or a shopkeeper was the only option that was available for people with Primary School education like me”.

Despite the challenges Isack faced, he never stopped dreaming, as much as his dreams were shaped and limited by the circumstances of his life. Little did he know that his life and dreams were about to change.

Isack Sufian

Isack remembers: “When Meghann asked me if I would like to join TFFT and proceed to Secondary  School, I immediately jumped at the opportunity with open arms. It is in that moment that I saw my future horizons expand before my eyes and I knew I was no longer going to amount to less than what I ought to be: which is the best version of myself. I was no longer relegated to become a housekeeper or a shopkeeper, but a lawyer or a tour guide.” 

Six years later, with the continued support of The Foundation For Tomorrow, the young man who thought he was going to end up a housekeeper, graduated from college, having pursued a professional tour guide course. Isack set his sights on improving himself and founded his own eco-tour company, Usambara Destination Eco Tours. In addition, he has started to give back and contribute to his community in a way nobody could have ever imagined. It is with the greatest pride that The Foundation For Tomorrow, which invested in his potential, witnessed a former scholar become an empowered citizen, who is thriving in the community, and reaching his full potential. 

A scene from the Usambara Mountains

When asked what drives him to give back to the community, Isack replied “I was lucky to have great role models when I was growing up – the act of kindness and compassion by The Foundation For Tomorrow and Irente Children’s Home is my biggest driver.”  Isack added, “I was not helped by my uncle or my father, who abandoned my mother when she was pregnant with me, but [I was helped] by strangers who gave me a home, a family and education when I needed it the most.”

Isack providing tourists with the opportunity to experience local beer made from sugar cane produced in the Usambara Mountains

Isack is not only living proof of how much a small act of kindness can transform someone’s life, but an example to all of us to not restrict our potential and define ourselves or our futures by limits imposed by our circumstance. Every human being has the strength and resources to find meaningful solutions to even the greatest challenge.

To all our donors at The Foundation For Tomorrow, we thank you and we appreciate you for believing in The Foundation For Tomorrow’s dream and for saying “YES!” to supporting children whom some of you have never met.  We wouldn’t be realizing this life-changing impact if it was not for our collective resolve to transform the lives of others. You truly demonstrate that a candle does not lose its flame by lighting another candle!

To everybody reading this, we hope it inspires you to continue to do good, and ignites within you the courage, inspiration, confidence and discipline to become the best version of yourself.

Isaack’s tour company logo

To learn more about what Isack is up to, please visit his site at: https://www.facebook.com/usambaradestinationtourcompany/?referrer=whatsapp

Credits

Consolidated by: Uswege Mwakapango and Edited by Thabisani Ncube

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2019-09-06T15:54:13+00:00