North West Regional College (NWRC) has awarded a scholarship to a Nigerian man living in Derry~Londonderry.
Chukwuka Frank Nwanonenyi is the first ever recipient of the NWRC Asylum Seeker Scholarship and has just begun studying on the Access Adult Learning Diploma in Health and Welfare at Strand Road campus.
Mr Nwanonenyi, known as Frank, who has lived in the city for eight months, revealed how he was inspired to pursue a career in the health sector because sickle cell anaemia, an illness he has lived with all his life.
Sickle cell disease is a serious and lifelong health condition although treatment can help manage many of the symptoms.
Frank, (35) said: “You could live to your 15, you could live to your 25, you just don’t know. I am very lucky in that I have gone beyond that and as a survivor I want to work with people who have the same or a similar condition.
“I would love to pursue a career in nursing or any other medical discipline and hopefully this scholarship will open the door to university for me.”
Mr. Nwanonenyi left his native Nigeria in June of last year and has been living in Derry~Londonderry since January.
Since then he has been supported North West Migrants Forum (NWMF) which helped him find his feet and set him on his journey to education.
Gillian Moss, Head of Client Services at NWRC, welcomed Frank to the college and wished him every success for the 2023/24 academic year.
She added: “We are delighted to announce NWRC’s first Asylum Seeker Scholarship which supports the studies of an Asylum seeker through NWMF with the right to study as part of their immigration status.
“We look forward to supporting Frank in our inclusive learning environment which supports learners from a range of backgrounds and experiences.”
Congratulating Mr Nwanonenyi on his scholarship, Director of the North West Migrants Forum, Lilian Seenoi Barr, said it was well deserved.
“Frank has been a valued member of the North West Migrants Forum since coming to Derry. We knew how passionate he was about studying, and we were delighted to be able to help with his application.
“For him to be successful in securing a place on the course, it gives us a huge sense of pride and we look forward to seeing him progress and hopefully, in the not-too-distant future, become a healthcare professional.
“We would also like to thank NWRC for offering this opportunity to someone who came here seeking international protection. It sends out the message that Derry is a welcoming and inclusive city, willing to support those in need of help.”
Chukwuka Frank Nwanonenyi