Malawi’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Director of Operations and Field Marshal, Ben Phiri, who is former presidential aide, has secured K22 million for the construction of a girls hostel at Mpinji Community Day Secondary School in Thyolo District.
The development comes as a timely intervention as students from around the school travel long distances of up to the radius of 20 kilometres. This anomaly alone has prevented girls from attaining good education due to absenteeism that mostly comes as a result lack of proper hygiene.
The whole Thyolo district has only two boarding schools namely Thyolo and Luchenza secondary schools.
Phiri says he has been knocking at a various doors to solicit help to improve livelihoods of people in Thyolo which is his home district.
“I have been approaching several institutions and individuals both local and international to find ways of how best they can help us the people of Thyolo. Our district is facing a lot of challenges that require interventions from all fronts. I am therefore very grateful to the government of China through its embassy in Malawi for responding favourably to this noble cause,” said Phiri.
Added he: “The new hostel at Mpinji CDSS will therefore help provide decent shelter and reduce absenteeism among girls. The modern infrastructure is expected to be completed and ready for use in January 2018.”
The field marshal, as he is famously known in political circles due to his skills and shrewdness, further thanked members of parliament from Thyolo district for their efforts in uplifting the living standards of people in their respective constituencies.
He specifically recognised Bapu Khamisa, who is member of parliament for Thyolo Central constituency which stands to benefit from the girls hostel project, for the good work he is doing in developing the district.
“What I am doing is simply to compliment various development initiatives taking place in all the constituencies of Thyolo initiated by legislators of those respective areas. Any cause that is aimed at directly benefiting mankind must be commended and encouraged,” concluded Phiri.
On his part, Chinese ambassador to Malawi, Wang Shi-Ting, said he was moved by stories of girls traveling long distances to and from school thereby failing to perform well in class.
Shi-Ting said he decided travel to Thyolo district together with Phiri to see with his own eyes the severity of the situation.
After touring some parts of the district, the Chinese ambassador therefore pledged to provide funds for construction of girls hostels at Mpinji which is few kilometres from the boma.
Ambassador Shi-Ting said: “They say if you educate a girl, you have educated an entire nation. That is why I am here in Thyolo to have first hand experience of the challenges the young girls are facing. We are assisting the government of Malawi in various sectors including education.
“Mind you China 30 years ago was worse than Malawi but we managed to improve the situation by educating the population. The hostels, once completed, will therefore help benefit girls in Thyolo district for many generations to come,” added Ambassador Shi-Ting.
Phiri has for years been at the centre of development projects and social programs in his home area.
Currently, he is running a sports trophy in Thyolo Central constituency to the tune of K10 million. He also disclosed that he has secured funds for a quiz competition targeting all schools in Thyolo district, both primary and secondary.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :