Education & Training
The Challenge - Inability of many families to be able to afford education for their children
In Malawi, primary education is free, but Secondary education is only offered to the selected few, at a fee. Many teens, who have qualified by passing exams, fail to take up this offer because their families are so vulnerable, unable to afford even the basic necessities, so education fees are out of the question.
So these young people, crammed with potential, are left, sitting at home aimlessly, prone to fall into unhelpful relationships or crime.
A positive exam result!
So we run a dedicated sponsorship programme where over the years we’ve funded hundreds of teenagers through their Secondary School education.
Each child accepted on our Programme has been identified by our staff as in particular need, some are recommended by senior teaching staff at local schools, others referred by official authorities (Village Heads or police involved with safeguarding issues), all home circumstances are assessed.
We aim to help the most vulnerable, but also those with the best attitude towards the opportunities education offers, and the willingness to work hard.
For over a decade we’ve enabled many to gain their MSCE (akin to the UK’s GCSE) - a high qualification for the rural areas. Some have gone on toTeachers’ Training or University, others become local teachers, gained employment or started their own businesses armed with the skills they’d learned, confidence they’d developed, and sometimes a little capital investment from us.
New school uniforms for some of the students from Michesi Secondary School
Some pupils from Chiringa School
But of course, even outside of employment, there are so many benefits to education.
Back in 2015 we built a Community Centre for Mtikhe Village prompted by a nursery school’s need for shelter. Voluntary staff had battled for years to inspire young ones out in the open, despite the ferocious weather and few teaching materials. We were humbled to learn that 2 of the 3 dedicated volunteers involved had been on our education programme years before - community heroes!
Malawi is trying to achieve gender equality in education - but often in the past in this culture, girls’ education had been neglected with a tendency to keep them at home collecting water and doing household chores. However, in 2018, Michesi school opened its girls’ boarding facilities in an attempt to reduce pregnancies, child marriages, and ensure the girls focus on their education. Some of our sponsored girls board at this school.
Sani-wear changes lives!
Additionally, another challenge for girls has been managing their periods with limited sanitary facilities. Many missed school a couple of days a month, disrupting their education. We’ve provided girls with washable sani-wear, panties and zip-locked bags to help carry soiled items, thus empowering them to stay at school!
Please help us impact more lives in the future by donating to our Education Fund.
Our fund works directly with the schools. Sorry—keeping our overheads to a minimum means we don’t have the admin availability to link up individual students with out-of-country sponsors.
“You can change a whole family’s life by educating a child”.
The Challenge - Lack of educational opportunities, dogged reliance on familiar methods, suspicion of new ideas and concepts
To encourage development in rural Malawi, villagers need to be inspired to consider new approaches, learn alternative methods, and adopt fresh practices.