Question: How Can a Student in Africa get Financial Assistance?

Question: How Can a Student in Africa get Financial Assistance?

by Roman on April 17, 2010

Throughout the 2 years I’ve been running Financial Jesus I have probably got a few hundred emails from poor people (at least that’s what they say) in Africa asking for financial assistance.

Usually it goes something like this:

I am poor.

My family is poor.

I think you are rich.

Please give me money.

Just like most other people I just ignore these letters and delete them. I have to confess that there has been an odd email asking for a job or something original that has made me write an answer but I’d have to say – I will never give money to a stranger.

The Question

The question box I have on the website has also got me some questions about people wanting me to give them money – I have simply ignored these requests. Yesterday, however I got a question from Philip Chipeta in Zambia, Africa.

Here is his question:

How can I get financial assistance?

I am a student at the University of Zambia in Southern Africa, poverty is a problem I have!  Please help me out of this by helping me pay for education.

I decided to answer Philip’s question as best as I can – at least the first part of it. Unfortunately I can not give him money to pay for his school – he did not supply me with a way of contacting him or getting the money to him. Here comes my first tip when asking for money:

When asking people for money, be ready when someone is willing to give it to you

Unfortunately I have never been to Zambia where Philip lives nor anywhere else in Africa so you should take what I say with a grain of salt and adjust it to your needs as much as necessary.

Getting Financial Assistance for Education

If you want to get financial assistance in order to get through school you can follow the same model I am about to give you. It doesn’t matter if you live in Africa, Asia or America.

Make a list of everyone you can ask for assistance

Make a list of people and companies you can ask for assistance. Include local institutions first since they are likely to care more about you. People on the other side of the world can’t care less about you. If you will write me an email saying that everyone in your country will die if I won’t help  – I will still just delete the email because I don’t care about what happens to a country full of people I have never heard of.

Be sure to add all local rich people to the list. Also add the businessmen of your country that have helped someone in the past. Also add the businessmen who have never helped anyone – you might be there first victim!

Contact all the people and companies that you think can help you

Here are the ways you should contact the people and the companies on the list. From the worst method to best:

  1. Write an email
  2. Send a fax
  3. Write a real letter
  4. Go and meet people yourself

When contacting the companies and people who have the power to help you – you should stay professional. Don’t ask for money as the very first thing. Get to know the people deciding over your fate first.

When contacting your target persons in a written form – make sure you don’t do any spelling mistakes. For christ’s sake Philip – your question only had 2 sentences but I had to reword it and correct at least 4 mistakes before I could publish it above. This just doesn’t leave a good impression… Use a spellchecker if you are bad at writing. If you have access to the internet you can download Microsoft Office (I know it’s pirating but hey, when you are dirt poor, what can you do).

Meeting the people who you ask money from in person is your best bet to get help – don’t ask these people for money directly. Instead try to get to know them before. If they have the time – ask them about what they do and show real interest about what they are saying.

Everyone likes to talk about themselves and what they do. If you let them talk first they will eventually give you a chance by asking how hey can help you.

I have been a door to door salesman in the USA for 2 summers and after speaking to more than 5000 people – I know this for sure: Nobody cares about you – they only care about themselves. If you show them how awesome they are – they will like you and give you what you need!

What do you offer in return?

It is not a good idea to just ask for money. You have to offer something in return. Nobody cares about you – they will only give you money if it will somehow benefit them.

If it is a company you ask money from – you can promise to come and work for them for a few years after you graduate your school. If it is a person – you can find out if there is something you can help them with. If you look deep enough – you can find a way to help anyone.

Remember the golden rule:

You can get whatever you want in life as long as you help other people get what they want.

Be an Excellent Student

If you are poor but still somehow manage to attend university you should do your best to become the best. University is your greatest bet at becoming rich. If you will get an excellent education and become the best specialist in what you do – you will be able to work wherever you want. Only a few people in the world are the best in what they do – they are the world’s most sought after specialists!

By being a great student you will most likely be noticed while still in university. It is quite common for exceptional students to start working for the university while still at school. Suck up to your teachers if you can – if they think highly of you they might recommend you as a specialist.

NB! Ask everyone you meet

While looking for financial aid you should never lose faith. When getting turned down for the 200th time you should ask them this:

“If you were in my place right now – what would you do to get the money I need”

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{ 7 comments }

Car Insurance Phi April 19, 2010 at 3:22 pm

Roman,
You bring up many great points. I, myself, am a student right now and I will accept all the financial help that I can receive- whether that’s from a family member or even a family friend or the government. Use your resources and use them wisely to get what you need.

Roman April 23, 2010 at 11:37 am

So how do you take yourself through school?

Amos May 21, 2010 at 4:27 am

please any country can help for assistance after few yeaaars of graduating i will come and work with them this my email amoskunle@yahoo.com

SAMUEL OPOKU-AGYEMANG August 6, 2010 at 10:59 am

Please I am a student in Ghana pursuing Diploma in Teaching course but i have not been able to pay for my first and second semester fees totalling $350(three hundred and fifty dollars.Please i need your assistance.my contact 233247998787.email:sammirockson@yahoo.com.MAY GOD BLESS YOU FOR HELPING THE POOR.

bayuo moses September 23, 2010 at 8:34 pm

i am a student of tetiary education but i am very poor to the estend that i can not provide financial support for suvival i am therefore appealint to the well to do people to help me end living

bayuo moses September 23, 2010 at 8:46 pm

i find my self in the streat as libra and at the same time school which is making it inpossible to comple my course (bsc. marketing

Okeh kenneth tunika June 7, 2012 at 7:44 pm

I am a student of higher leaning,of one of the university ie enugu state university in africa studing sociology and 300 level student.i was recently drove out of school due to hike in school fees which i could not afford to pay.my mother who has been taking care all my school bills since i lot my dad as a kid,she took ill since last year i ve taken her to different hospitals.the little saving her hard has finished,and her illness is be coming wrost in daily basis no help.i sold my laptop,all to save her life but all to no avail.please help us my mum is dying and my education in shambles.i am confused.pls thanks okeh.

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