Felix is an orphan from Sudan who has lived at Mercy House for 5 years. He came to South Africa in 2008 and took to selling ice-creams on the street, then set up a small street stall in Pretoria. In 2011 he found his way to Mercy House, where he asked Diana for help to study medicine. This did not seem possible at the time. Felix made a deep impression, even the first time he came to us. His remarkable enthusiasm and belief in life radiated in his smile. Even though his dream seemed impossible, he never gave up on that. We introduced him to (now) Dr Emmanuel Taban, whom we had assisted with schooling and who, through the mediation of Comboni Father Jo Sandri, had been able to gain a medical degree and went on to become what he is now, a specialist physician, with his own practise. Dr Emmanuel decided to give something back: he assisted Felix with finance for a large part of his studies, not for medicine but for a degree in Biomedical Science at the University of Johannesburg. The balance of monies needed was donated by Mercy House and also gained through Felix’ s tireless searching for, and getting, part time jobs along the way.
Felix is currently completing his Master of Science Degree in Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the School of Public Health, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. On the 11 April 2016, he even started his first job with H3Africa Initiative at the Sydney Brenner Institute of Molecular Bioscience, an organization based in Johannesburg which does research on key health issues in Africa under the National Institute of Health (NIH), funded from the United States of America. Better still, his new employer has offered him a scholarship to do his doctorate (PHD), after one year of work. His employer must have been impressed with him, since, even in his very first week of work, Felix was booked to attend a conference in Senegal from 11 to 26 May 2016 in the field of the research work which he will be doing.
Mercy House is proud to have contributed to Felix’s amazing achievement, certainly due to his unbelievable determination to get to the goal of his life. His story really does prove that dreams can come true and we wish him well.
Felix has this to say to all who have helped him on his path:
First and foremost, I want to express my heartfelt thanks to T. Diana Beamish, of Mercy House, for everything she has done for me from day one till today. Indeed without Mercy House, everything would have been impossible. For all this, I am very grateful. May God bless Mercy House. Secondly, my sincere thanks go to Dr Emmanuel and family for their tireless financial support. Dr Emmanuel, you are a brother. May God bless you. Thanks also to Lawyer Neels Coertse for invaluable legal assistance with documentation. Lastly, I want to thank Mrs Gordon-Grant who has faithfully every week brought sandwiches for the students, St Richard’s Church in England who supported me financially and Saint Augustine’s Church for their support. I am grateful and will remember you all.