First Lady’s Shape Our Future receives K94m Grant from Japanese Government.

It was all smiles on the face of Malawi’s First Lady Madam Monica Chakwera as her foundation Shape Our Future on Monday received K94 Million grant from the Japanese Government meant for the construction of an 80 bed girls hostel and water facility at Katowo Community Day Secondary School in Rumphi District.

“This ceremony brings a lot of joy in my heart as it takes me back to the old days when I would walk long distances to and back from school.

“It was not an easy experience. It is an experience that can make a girl child easily give up,” remarked the visibly excited Madam Chakwera during the grant signing ceremony in Lilongwe.

First Lady Madam Monica Chakwera receiving the K94 million grant from Japanese Ambassador Satoshi Iwakiri.

“I am therefore happy today that some girls at Katowo Community Day Secondary School will be rescued from this hardship and an issue of walking long distance to school will soon be a thing of the past. Thanks to the generous donation from the Embassy of Japan.”

Madam Chakwera said girls from rural and poor households face the greatest barriers to school access and retention as a result of various factors like walking long distances to school.

The founder of Shape Our Future Foundation explained that long distances to schools render girls vulnerable to sexual harassment and assault when they are on their way to or back from school.

“The same applies when they have to stay in rented accommodation closer to school. That is why when I had learnt of the distance girls walked to school at Katowo CDSS, I was compelled to help and through Shaping Our Future Foundation we reached out to the Embassy of Japan for assistance. Girls are our future agents of change.

Empowering girls is therefore a powerful tool to ensuring sustainable development for our country, Malawi,” emphasized the first lady

Speaking earlier, Japanese Ambassador Satoshi Iwakiri said he believes that after the project completion. More girls will be motivated to stay in school and pursue their education in order to become reliable citizens of their communities and Malawi in general.

He added that the project is expected to contribute to the reduction in to the reduction in girls drop out and improved retention in school of both girls and boys.

“This support by the Government of Japan is in line with Malawi Vision 2063. The grant therefore signifies one tangible support Japan is providing in promoting human capital development especially among girls in Malawi,” said Iwakiri.

Iwakiri then commended the first lady for her commitment in ensuring improved girls education in Malawi.

Chief advisor to the first lady and Acting Executive Director of Shaping Our Future Foundation MacDuff Phiri hailed the Japanese Government for accepting their proposal to fund the project saying it will go a long way towards the improved enrolment, retention as well as completion of secondary school education of girls at Katowo and the surrounding areas.

He said the project aims at helping girls to become productive citizens and help contribute to the social and economic development of the country.

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