Lessons learned as a UPI Fellow: Providence Chigwenembe

Read on to catch a glimpse of life within UPI's fellowship program, as Providence Chigwenembe reflects on her past year as a fellow! 

A year ago I came to the USA for the UPI Fellowship program. I look back to the year that I took on-line classes with Nadia together with 36 students from different countries across the globe and I cannot explain why I was considered. All I know is that this opportunity came because God wanted to teach me so much more about myself and my community by putting me in a different context. 

The fellowship program in a year has totally transformed who I am and who I want to be when I go back to my country. As a young woman born and raised in Malawi, Africa, I am part of the 1% that graduate from college.

I never thought I would be one of the 5% of the world’s population that holds a Masters’ degree but UrbanPromise International saw potential in me and brought me to study and improve my leadership skills. 

My faith has been transformed in the year that I have been in the fellowship. I have been around people who not only profess love for their brethren, but live out that love. I never knew that my concerns and problems would be other people’s concerns. I have experienced love and generosity throughout my stay and I will forever be grateful. I am encouraged to not only live and work with people, but to make it a priority to do life together. 

My attitude toward life has completely changed. Every day, I discover that I am where I am not for myself but for my community. I have received a rare opportunity and girls in my community look up to me and believe that it is possible to get through school even when you are not an “A” student. I have had the privilege of speaking to people on what life in Malawi looks like for a girl. I understand that I am being called to serve the girls in Malawi and the fellowship has been a platform to discover more and more of what I have been called to do. 

I can summarize my first year of the fellowship program in these words:

 “I wake up every day with gratitude for the undeserving opportunity I have been given. Every day has an equal measure of new knowledge, new memories and a new adventure”.