Deo Niyonkuru


Undergraduate Student at United Arab Emirates University

Deo Niyonkuru grew up in a family of seven children as the only boy among six girls. He was raised by both parents alongside his siblings. He grew up in a community of uneducated people, so we went to school late at the age of 9. In his childhood, the only thing he learned was religion.

Now, He is an undergraduate student at United Arab Emirates University, hoping to open up to the world and contribute to the well being of his community. Growing up close to his parents and siblings, he always feels burdened when there is a danger imposed on his people. He always learnt that peace and love are the center of well being, any disturbance, to peace and love burdens him. He does not like to play any games or do some outing because in his childhood, he never did anything similar, he was either at home or at church. At home his parents used to delegate him what to do which made him a responsible man.

What inspired you to enter the World NTD Day Story telling competition?

I was inspired to enter NTD Day storytelling competition because the following; It all began with my friend’s father who contacted River blindness and resulted into school dropout for my friend. I always wanted to say something about NTDs to the world. When I heard about NTDs story telling competition, I was relieved because I thought that my voice is going to be heard by many people and that an action may be taken.

Again, the cash prize also inspired me because I was going to do something I always wanted to do and if I do it well, get praised with such a prize.

Why does fighting NTDs matter to you?

Fighting NTDs matter to me because:

  • From my community, the victims of NTDs are the poorest.
  • I am afraid that if negligence continues, I might be the next to catch the disease.
  • The crippled by NTDs include neighbours, friends, and family. And if my neighbour, friend and family are not well, I am not well also.

How do you intend on continuing the fight against NTDs after this competition?

I intend to continue the fight against NTDs by raising awareness especially to people from my community through social media and some community gatherings.

What would be your request to your country’s leaders regarding fighting NTDs?

What I can request from my country’s leader in the fight against NTDs is to stop negligence, do country wide medical check up on our 12 million population in order to eradicate any further implications of NTDs.

Category Finalists