Personal information

Name: Epiphania Richard

Date of Birth: 10/12/1997

Country: Tanzania

Study: Pharmacy [Level: diploma]

Study information

Study: Diploma in Pharmacy

University: St Magdalene Health training institute

Location: Ruhunda Village misenyi District

Start date: September 2023

Expected graduation: 2025-2026

Cost per year: Tzs 2,800,0000

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Why I need the iSTEPup Foundation 

Due to some unforeseen Circumstances. I am currently unable to achieve my dream without the help of ISTEP up. It would have been impossible. I am currently unable to offered paying for studies. My Father Passed away when I was young my mum is a poor peasant farmer in the village could not afford to send me at the college to study. Now the new transition in my life of becoming a pharmacist and I would be able to take care of myself, my family and my country as well as so am very sure that without this great help I would have had no choice but to drop out of college by now. And wouldn’t be able to pay my own fees to facilitate myself
through college.


My name is Nathasja van Leeuwen, born in the Netherlands in 1992. Since I was a little girl, I told everyone I knew that I wanted to work in Africa. I did not know why, after all, I had never been there. But for some reason, I was convinced that I was meant to be there. When I grew older, I tried to figure out the best way to reach my goal. That’s when I decided to study medicine. Not just because I was interested in how the human body works, but also because I thought that I could make a difference in Africa being a doctor. So, in high school I chose the right subjects and after graduating I applied for university. Unfortunately, my application was refused. Therefore, I turned to my plan B; taking a Bachelor’s degree in medical biology and then switch to medicine. Luckily, I managed to succeed this time.

For  my last medical internship I went to work in a small mission hospital in Tanzania for three months. Finally an opportunity to taste a little bit of the life of a tropical doctor! Within the first minute of setting foot in Tanzania, I fell in love with everything I could see. During this internship, I got to experience so many beautiful things, that I knew I had found my new home. There has not been a single day I wanted to go back to the Netherlands. Already during the internship, I applied for a job in the neighbouring hospital, St. Joseph Hospital in Kagondo. I went home to pick up my diploma and, finally a medical doctor, straight back to Tanzania to start my dream job.

During these three years I kept myself busy with many projects in the hospital. In order to improve patient care I collected money to buy a new portable ultrasound machine. And to increase safety and motivate staff I donated a solar system to make sure there is light 24 hours a day. I also managed to help with some hospital projects, run by the management itself. Such as repair of toilets, painting, et cetera. However, besides these projects inside the hospital, I also look for ways to help people in my environment. Together with my husband I started the Poor Patient Funds, which is a programm to help the poorest people get the right medical care, funded by donations. And we also look for children/adolescents who did not get a change to go to school or study. By various means we try to find a sponsor for them. So far we were able to help to high school boys (through private donations) and nursing students (through I-STEP-UP).

My dream of becoming a doctor in Africa has been fulfilled. It is now time for new dreams. And one of these is possible with help of I-STEP-UP. Together we can improve healthcare in Tanzania!

Study results

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