Linus Faustin came to the attention of the Rotary club of Taree on Manning, NSW at the age of 8 when he walked into an orphanage in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. The volunteer house mother was the daughter of one of the club members.
Linus was an orphan living as a street kid after his mother, father and 3 year old sister died of AIDS.
Life on the street wasn’t easy. “You need to think about food, shelter and you also fear that someone may harm you at night,” Linus said. “I used to wake up at 5am to go to the mango tree, sometimes fruit would have dropped during the night, so I would try to sell it or do odd jobs to make money. I was surviving but I wanted to go to school and I wanted to have a better life.” Through the orphanage Linus was able to access consistent schooling. Now at 22 the Rotary Club of Taree Manning has supported Linus to undertake a communications degree at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) through a scholarship funded by Rotary Australian Benevolent Society fundraising.
Linus has already a number of achievements to his name; he has acted on the Junior Council of the United Republic of Tanzania, as camp leader at the UNESCO international Youth Summer Camp in China, and travelled to New York for the international Model United Nations with UTS’S UN Society. In 2016, he was selected as a NSW Multicultural Youth Ambassador and involved with the UTS’S “Racism: It stops with me” campaign, Peer Networking and Community Connections programs, and the international student channel on Vertigo TV. In October this year Linus was named as NSW International Student of the Year for Higher Education. Governor of NSW David Hurley presented Linus his certificate at a glittering ceremony at Government House.
Linus is passionate about social justice, inclusion and diversity and remains humble, despite his many accomplishments.
“I believe Linus has serious, long term leadership prospects in Tanzania,” said PDG Maurie Stack, of the Rotary Club of Taree on Manning, who, along with the rest of the club is very invested in his future.
“Sometimes I come across a student story that stops me right in my tracks. Something inspirational that demonstrates the power of education and reminds me why we are all here. Linus Faustin has one of these stories,” Vice Chancellor Mr. Attila Brungs said.