pixel In their own words: Praise Emmanuel | Universidade NOVA de Lisboa

In their own words: Praise Emmanuel

Praise Emmanuel is 20 years old, born in Nigeria and was studying in Kiev when war began

"The day before I had to turn my life around and head south, everything was pretty normal. Until one day I woke up with my brother calling me to ask if I was safe. Immediately after the call, I heard the sound of an explosion.  

By then, I confess, I was shaking with fear, so I ran to the nearest bunker to seek safety. My once bustling city had turned into a ghost town, with everyone hiding and going to the grocery store to buy food on the run, everything became scary, because you didn't know when the next bomb would drop, and everything seemed so uncertain, so the solution seemed to simply leave the country. As there wasn't much room on the trains for luggage, the vast majority of things stayed behind - with me, I only brought the briefcase I used to take to university.  

Because of the high number of people trying to leave the country, the trains were full, and we were cramped like sardines in a can. At that time, nobody really cared about what we all wanted: safety was really our first priority.  

 It is always difficult to move from country to country, and even worse in those conditions, not knowing if I would have the chance to finish my studies and if all the dreams I had for my life would be eclipsed from one day to the next. I felt desperate: at that moment the only option for me seemed to be to look for a job to support myself and give up studying.  

 That is why I am so grateful for this opportunity - for myself and for all the people affected by the war and for the chance to continue my medical education. Now I can say that I have found another home away from home and can look forward to a better future."