Zambian students neglected in Russia.
I write to you seeking your intervention over the yearly problem that we the Zambian students are facing in Russia concerning the failure by government via the bursaries committee to send us upkeep, visa and medical allowances on time. We have gone for five months without been given the top up allowances.
The academic year begins in September, and this means that we need to buy medical policies, pay for our hostels, visa and last but not the least we need food and transport money to be able to move from the hostels to the universities. In spite of the government through the bursaries committee being aware of these facts, we have gone for five months without being paid top up allowances.
This has disturbed us very much as we are facing many problems. For example, we have been warned of being evicted from the hostels by next week if we do not pay for the hostels. The hostel managers have given us eviction notifications and we are now worried how will be able to continue studying being aware of the fact that we might not have a place to stay by next week.
To add salt to the wound, we have unsettled issues with visas, as we are required to have medical insurance policies before they can give us our visas. In Russia, you need to have a registration card. The registration card is available only if you have a visa. However, for us it means that we are unable to get the registration card, as we do not have the visa. Without having a registration card, you cannot do any official transactions; this means that I cannot even receive money from any bank or western union if my parents were to send me. The failure by government to send money on time as caused us not to apply for visas on time as it costs $50 and $200 for medical insurance policies.
Studying in Russia as a foreigner is very difficult; unlike the locals, we are not allowed to work hence we cannot earn any extra money. However, the failure by government to send us money on time has led to some students embarrassing themselves by dancing at the universities, in streets or at the sea so that the well-wishers can give them some money. This is so embarrassing for a country like Zambia to see its future leaders, medical practitioners and engineers dancing for survival in a foreign land instead of concentrating on their studies(below is attached a photo of the students dancing to what is called tumba-yumba).
It is so disturbing to note that in light of this, there has been no concrete explanation given as to why we have not be given the top up allowances up to now. Our student union representatives have kept on informing us that the embassy does not know when the bursaries committee will send us the money. Rumour has it that the bursaries committee has a negative bank balance; hence, they are unable to fund us. It is so worrying to note that a country can risk having expensive uncalled for by-elections after every five-six months while its children are suffering abroad under brutal temperatures.
Does it mean that it has to take riots by students to make the concerned authorities increase the BC and pay students on time? Furthermore, does it mean that if we do not vote in view of the fact that we are not in Zambia as at now, then we cannot have our rights as students and Zambians at large, considered? We plead to any concerned authority in Zambia who will read this to voice out for us. We plead to the government through the ministry of education to hear our plea and consider us, as studying in Russia, Algeria, china, Turkey and Cuba is not easy and even worse without any form of financial support.
Your assistance will be highly appreciated
Concerned and soon to be evicted from the hostel Zambian student in Russia.
Below are the photos;