First Women Scientists Receive Guadalupe Scholarships

The first women scientists from Africa who carried out research thanks to the Guadalupe Scholarship Program sponsored by Harambee were Dalene Kembabazi from Uganda and Celine Tendobi from D.R.Congo.

Dalene Kembabazi

The Guadalupe scholarship enabled Dalene Kembabazi to fulfill her dream of specializing in public health measures to plan for and fight against pandemics like the current coronavirus.

“Postgraduate studies have opened my eyes to the system of public health in this country and worldwide, and I’m preparing myself to make a positive contribution to society in this important area. I consider it a privilege to be able to pursue a degree in the Makerere University School of Public Health, which is the principal institute working to control the Covid-19 pandemic in Uganda.”

She became acquainted with Blessed Guadalupe through the book Letters to a Saint. “In reading it I learned a lot about her simple and cheerful life, which was filled with hard work and high goals, but always in the context of living her vocation to holiness.”

“The life of Guadalupe is an inspiration for me in many aspects of my own life. She encourages me to keep working hard and to do my work as well as possible. She has shown me that by carrying out my profession I can contribute to improving society and also attain sanctity.”

Dr. Celine Tendobi

Dr. Celine Tendobi, from Kinshasa, D.R. Congo, carried out research on the early detection of cervical cancer in the University of Navarra Clinic in Madrid. When the coronavirus pandemic began, she was unable to return to her country. So she offered to work “pro bono” and try to strengthen the Gynecology services at the Clinic until she could return to Kinshasa.

“In mid-March 2020, when the state of emergency was declared in Spain, I tried to return to Congo, but the borders of several countries where the plane would have to make a stop were closed, so I wasn’t allowed to book a flight.”

“As the coronavirus cases started to grow exponentially, the University of Navarra Clinic limited many of its services, among them research projects, in order to have more personnel available for fighting Covid-19. So I decided to offer my services to reinforcing the department of Gynecology. I didn’t know how long I would have to stay in Spain, which gave rise to a certain restlessness since I was also needed in my hospital back in Kinshasa.”

In mid-May 2020, around the time of the first anniversary of Guadalupe’s beatification, she was able to return home.

At present, due to the international health emergency, the Guadalupe Scholarship Program has been put on hold until the end of the crisis.