Hers is a story of sheer determination to beat the odds life hurled. A vintage motivational piece. Bella Ndayikeze was born in war-torn Burundi and fled her home with her mother when she was only 12 months old in fear for their lives.
Her mother made the long trek to Tanzania Refugee Camp, a trip that took over a week while carrying little Bella on her back.
Bella and her family moved from one refugee camp to another before finding their now permanent home in Perth, Western Australia when she was about 7 years old. Bella struggled with many issues from being bullied, domestic violence to dealing with depression.
Bella has overcome great challenges in her journey and attributes her success to the services she received and continues to receive from the Edmund Rice Centre from the early age of ten.
In 2011, Bella was named the first black African female AFL coach, helping break not only the gender barriers in her community but also challenging the issue of race. Bella is a trailblazer in her football career and an inspiration to many seeking to better themselves and make a difference in the lives of others.
“ Never give up. You have to look deep within yourself. You might be broken but you must have something to hold on to. You have to think of yourself as someone who makes this world go on,”she says.