Education is credited to give people a solid base of life. But are there solutions when conditions spur one not to attain Education? In Malawi most young people drop the towel and get home to become a burden.
In the wake of such scenarios, some young people in the country have teamed up to help reduce school dropouts due to lack of school fees and other school materials: the initiative is called Maphunziro 265 (www.maphunziro265.org).
Maphunziro-265 was established against a backdrop of several Malawian children and youths failing to complete their education due to lack of school fees and other scholastic materials.
Several organizations and individuals have stepped in to provide bursaries and scholarships. The challenge is that many needy youths and children across Malawi do not know of these scholarships.
The individuals, who know of the scholarship opportunities, do not have the adequate support as to make strong applications.
Further to that, there is no scholarships directory or guide book which students can use to access a cross section of scholarships provided for and by Malawians.
According to its co-founder, Tendai Katsonga, many needy youths and children across Malawi do not know of these scholarships.
Individuals who know of the scholarship opportunities sometimes do not have the adequate support to make strong applications.
“As Citizens of Malawi, both at home and in diaspora, we can work together to reduce the number of brilliant students that drop out of school because they cannot afford to pay tuition fee.
“We can develop individual scholarships within our budget to help students in secondary or tertiary institutions,” explained Katsonga.
Tendai indicated that as such Maphunziro265 was established among others to link students in need of financial support and scholarship providers in Malawi (corporate and individual providers). In short it’s a hub or a focal point where students and guardians can get scholarship information.
She further said the platform is also for individuals who have always wanted to contribute to the education of students in need but do not have the time or do not know where to start from to search for students in need.
“Maphunziro-265 allows such individuals, to develop and submit a call for students in need of financial support,” she said.”
Individuals are allowed to create an eligibility criterion that suits their target audience and based on how much they can afford.
Maphunziro265 then provides an opportunity for individuals and Organisations to submit their calls for applicants; the call is published on www.maphunziro265.org free of charge.
Asked on whether students that are struggling to pay fees for Malawi’s tertiary institutions are eligible, innovative Katsonga indicated that it all depends on the availability of sponsors who are willing to pay but yes once they see a call on that the students can apply.
She explained that NGOs, CSOs, and Private Sector, can further promote education in Malawi through the provision of scholarships for students at tertiary institutions in Malawi.
Institutions are free to develop a scholarship based on their budget and sector, and are also free to develop the selection criteria.
As such they submit the call for applicants, and Maphunziro 265 will run it on www.maphunzio265.org and its social media accounts free of charge.
And for those already running institutional scholarship programs, then can submit their scholarship and will be run on www.maphunziro265.org free of charge.
Katsonga then calls on individuals and institutions to make use of this hub while developing the nation through education.
She quotes former South African President Nelson Mandera saying “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :