Return to Education Helped Mother Cope With Devastating Loss

Francisca Faku wanted to learn the skills to support people in her situation

Francisca Faku
Francisca Faku

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After the death of her two sons, a mother turned to education to rebuild her own mental wellbeing – and will now use everything she has learnt to help others when she graduates from the University of West London (UWL) at the age of 70.

It was not until retiring from a fulfilling career as a primary school teacher, raising her six children in Zimbabwe and moving to the UK at the age of 50 that Francisca Faku even considered higher education.

When her mother died and her two sons were killed just months apart, she fell into a deep distress, relying on friends and her church to keep her going.

It was this time of difficulty she decided to repay all the kindness she had received by gaining the skills to help people struggling in any area of their lives.

Now, after supporting four of her children through university, she has thrown herself into her own full-time study and is just a year away from graduating with a Psychology with Counselling Therapy BSc (Hons).

Speaking about the return to education, Francisca said: “After I lost my mother and my two sons, I really struggled with me mental wellbeing. It was only with support from friends and my church that I survived, that was when I decided to come to university so could learn the skills to support other people dealing with what I went through.

“It was not easy at all after so long out of education, technology was my biggest challenge as I had learnt with paper and pen in my days. I was so terrified of computers that I almost gave up, but I never hesitated to look for help.

“I have shown that it's never too late to learn new skills, all it takes is a passion and determination. I’m so much more knowledgeable and feel younger than when I started.”

As well as being given a peer mentor, Francisca has regular IT support and even benefitted from financial to enable her to keep studying while she supported herself.

Find out how UWL can help you reach your full potential by exploring all courses starting this September, or contacting 0800 036 8888 to speak to admissions experts and make your application directly this summer.

August 19, 2020

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