Girls Empowerment Network (GENET) has bailed out 252 needy girls with school fees in Dowa District to give them the opportunity to continue with their education.
Speaking in an interview GENET Project Officer, Taonga Kachilonda Phiri said her organization decided to provide bursaries for the needy girls in the district after realising that they had challenges that would disable them from continuing with education.
“As GENET we noticed that many girls in Dowa were facing challenges to complete their education and some of the challenges include; lack of school fees due to poverty and early pregnancies.
“For this reason, we decided to assist the girls with school fees in order for them to complete their secondary education,” said Phiri.
GENET is also providing bicycles to students, particularly girls who are staying far from their schools in order to reduce mobility challenges as the girls commute to schools which are far from their homes.
According to Phiri, the organization intends to reduce school dropout rate among the girls in Dowa District by providing them with all basic necessities and motivational support in order for them to complete their education.
Recently, GENET conducted a three-day girls’ summer camp at Dowa Secondary School where 120 girls, including some who are on the organization’s bursary from the district’s seven community day secondary schools shared ideas on how they can complete their education and achieve their desired goals.
The project officer was optimistic that with the project GENET is implementing in the district, there would be more girls pursuing secondary education in schools.
“We hope that through our project, many girls who dropped out of school due to lack of school fees and basic needs, will go back to school and this will raise the attendance of girls in schools in Dowa District,” she observed.
Dowa District Commissioner, Alex Mdooko commended GENET in an interview for the positive change the project was bringing in returning the girls to school in his district.
However, Mdooko called for concerted efforts among community members, teachers, parents and GENET if the project was to bring more positive results among girls in the district.
The needy girls who have benefited from GENET bursary are from seven community day secondary schools in areas of traditional authorities Chakhaza and Msakambewa in the district where the organization is implementing a project dubbed ‘Improving Secondary Education in Malawi (ISEM)’ with funding from European Union (EU) and Oxfam.