TAIPEI (The China Post) — Tapsoba Achille Wendyam (艾家齊), a recent graduate from National Taiwan University (國立臺灣大學), gave a touching graduation speech in Mandarin on Saturday regarding the challenges of growing up in an impoverished country and the importance of education.
Burkina Faso, the country Achille grew up in, has been ranked as one of the world’s poorest countries. In his speech, Achille stressed how many of his classmates were forced to drop out of school, often due to disease or financial reasons.
However, these obstacles only made Achille realize the importance of education even more, as he saw it as a way to escape from poverty.
When Achille first arrived in Taiwan, he barely understood any Mandarin or English. Within the span of four months, Achille was able to achieve fluency in both, allowing him to be admitted to eight Taiwanese colleges and universities.
He chose to enroll at National Taiwan University, where he continued to improve on his Mandarin.
In 2018, Burkina Faso cut off diplomatic relations with Taiwan in favor of the PRC, causing Achille to lose his scholarship. However, Achille continued to pursue his education in Taiwan with the support of Taiwan authorities.
Near the end of his speech, Achille spoke a few words in his native tongue, Mossi.