Testimony: Jheyfer Guasgua

Jheyfer Guasgua

is a dreamer who makes those dreams come true.

From Tabacundo, Ecuador, Jheyfer is an Indigenous woman from the Cochasqui culture. She won one of the Education for Life scholarships at NCVE International, an initiative aimed at promoting social mobility through education and offering the opportunity to study overseas for a unique experience in learning English and gaining a new perspective through cultural exchange.

One of the most interesting aspects of her culture is its political organization based on a matriarchate. Instead of being ruled by a king, they are governed by a queen. This structure empowers women, who also have the option of having up to three husbands. While this was the historical background she comes from, Jheyfer explained that the current culture in her community is patriarchal.

Jheyfer broke with tradition by dreaming differently and pursuing her personal goals in a new direction. She is the first in her family to attend university and become a professional with a degree in journalism, a source of pride for being the first Indigenous person in her family to achieve this.

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Upon completing her studies, she dreamt of traveling and exploring other countries. Her search for opportunities led her to the Education for Life Scholarship.

“In my town, the primary occupation is farming, which is physically demanding. I aspire to a job where I can propose ideas, apply my knowledge, and create a different reality. My family has faced challenges, with moments of scarcity, and I’ve seen my mother under a lot of pressure to provide for us. I want to change that situation, and I believe studying is the best way to do it. In my country, without a university education, opportunities are limited.”

Jheyfer was selected to receive the Education for Life scholarship at NCVE International due to her potential as an agent of change. Her “Mi Guagau Fuerte” initiative, meaning “My Strong Baby/Children,” aimed to raise awareness and prevent malnutrition in vulnerable communities. Additionally, this campaign distributed kits with essential food items to pregnant women and young children, contributing to their well-being during the early years. Her dedication to improving her community’s conditions through education or tools for equal opportunity has been admirable.

This campaign was a learning experience for both her and her family. As her sister awaited the arrival of her first child, Jheyfer shared valuable advice as an agent of change: “If you have valuable information, share it; it could change lives. If I hadn’t had the opportunity to learn what I did, I would have appreciated someone sharing that knowledge with me and my family.”

After six months in Australia studying English at NCVE International, she achieved an upper-intermediate level of English. It has been rewarding for us to witness her progress, starting with basic English skills and advancing rapidly due to her commitment and dedication to learning, even outside of classes. “I am adapting to this big city, learning about a  different from mine. It’s like two different worlds.”

Why Australia? 

“I studied with a scholarship in Ecuador, dreaming of studying overseas. One day, I found the NCVE Convocatory on Instagram, and I thought it was meant for me, so I took a chance. I participated despite limited knowledge of how to make it happen, but it resonated with me.”

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She said that living here has been an introspective journey, allowing her to heal emotionally and prioritize her well-being to offer better emotional support. She has visited many places, met people from diverse backgrounds, and worked in the city hall as a waitress, a perfect place to practice her English. “Sometimes, my English flows easily, but there are days when “my English is tired, hahaha.” I realize it’s part of the learning process.”


“When I arrived, I couldn’t speak English at all. Now, I can speak and understand it, which is incredible. I remember my first day; my teacher spoke a lot, and I just smiled, not understanding a word. But with time and practice, I started communicating my ideas and understanding others. It’s a journey I need to continue, but the fact that I can speak and understand is an incredible feeling.”


According to her words Australia, is synonymous with its beautiful beaches and diverse shops where you can find everything from luxury to affordable items within the same block. It’s amazing!

Her piece of advised for International students is

“The most important lesson I’ve learned as an international student in Australia is that opportunities abound if you work hard, stay committed to learning English, and maintain a positive attitude. Discipline is key; attending classes and studying outside of class hours is essential. Without participating in conversational groups and dedicating time to study, progress is difficult.”

Don’t fear making mistakes; embrace every opportunity to practice, as being proactive is crucial for progress.   


Edition 20 | 2024 | By: Nathaly Trujillo

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