A former child refugee, Iranga Tcheko, has launched a crowdfunding campaign to secure a place at a top university in America.
The 25-year-old Warwick University graduate has been accepted to study International and World History at Columbia University in New York but the opportunity to do so comes at a hefty price. Despite the university granting her a 50% tuition fee waiver, Iranga still needs to raise £45,000 in six weeks or she risks losing her place on the course.
On the crowdfunding page for donations, Iranga writes: “Being working class is expensive. Our socio-economic backgrounds can cost us lifechanging opportunities, time and time again we miss out.”
Iranga arrived in Newham, east London after fleeing war in the Democratic Republic of Congo with her mother at the age of 4.
Since arriving in London in 1999, Iranga has debated in the House of Lords, studied at Warwick University and mentored children in Nepal, Kenya and here in the UK but has plans to do even more.
“Although I have achieved a lot, I know that there is so much more impact I will be able to make by taking my education to the highest level,” Iranga writes in the description of her crowdfunding page.
“With your help I can get to Columbia University where I will focus on histories that have been regulated to the margins of academia and how digital media can be a positive force in understanding people, fighting inequalities and changing the status quo in order to confront the local and global issues that affect underprivileged communities.
“Your helping hand will make a world of difference.”
For more information on Iranga’s inspiring story and to donate to help her raise money to attend Columbia University, click here.