earing birds tweet every morning and watching trees sway as the Dedza winds sweep over Kasonkanje village is the everyday atmosphere that 15-year-old Doreen Limbani wakes up to. Born in a family of three, Doreen is the second born daughter in the family of the Limbani's.
Having a secondary school bursary is something that most girls in Malawi dream of. In a country where poverty rates are high, many girls fail to finish secondary school. Ellen Rajab, who studies at Mpondasi Community Day Secondary School, is one of the lucky ones. She is a confident, outgoing girl. As she sits on the white sandy beach by the side of Lake Malawi on a sunny afternoon, she enthusiastically explains how far she has come.
It’s a cold day in Shandong, China. The skies are grey and the grass is far from green. Dressed in a heavy pink winter coat, Sarah Mvula walks through university campus on the way to her dormitory. She is a prospective medical student at Shandong University. It is a dream come true for her.
The sprawling campus of Chancellor College is on the edge of Malawi’s former capital city. It is only 120 kms from the villages of Mangochi, but it feels like a world away. Tiffany Kapanda, 18, is a former UNICEF scholar from Mangochi, now studying at Chancellor College.
It was a historic evening for girls in Malawi on Wednesday 5th December at the Mt. Soche hotel in Blantyre. Dignitaries from different sectors in the country gathered to be a part of the Official Launch of the fundraising campaign for the Girls Secondary Education Trust Fund. The Trust Fund referred to as “Funo Langa”, was set up to provide access to quality education for vulnerable students in Malawi, particularly girls.
Chikondi Mjojo wants to be a police officer when she completes her education. She works hard in school and is determined to give something back to her community. However, the high school student from southern Malawi had problems at home and was struggling to keep up with her school work.
Pauline Lot loves to write poems. When she was in primary school she wrote a poem for a competition about keeping girls in school. “It did really well and was one of the poems from our district to be selected to go to Lilongwe.”
Life has not been easy for Jane Lupale. Before she got a scholarship, she used to miss school because her family couldn’t afford the fees. Once she missed school for three weeks straight because her brother failed to pay her fees. But things changed three years ago when Jane received a scholarship.
Issa Alfred Saidi’s job often takes him beyond his head teacher office at Nampinjuja Primary School in Mangochi, Malawi. He is quite often found making house calls, visiting learners who are absent from school or appear to be facing some problems. Issa is a man who commands great respect in the school and surrounding community. He is also a cheerful man and is a favorite among his students, with whom he is often found laughing with.
An unusual sight greets visitors to the Headmaster’s house at Kampini Primary School, Dedza. Old fashioned sewing machines sit on desks, surrounded by old clothes and materials. Mothers are hard at work sewing sanitary pads for adolescent girls, to prevent them missing school during their periods.