Girls Empowerment Network (GENET) engaged two young female role models to give motivational talks to 40 girl students at Chibavi Community Day Secondary School who are on their bursary, funded by the European Union under a project called Improving Secondary Education in Malawi (ISEM).
Thokozire Kaonga, a graduate of Mzuzu University and working with Standard Bank in Mzuzu, highlighted the importance of working hard in school if the girls are to realize their goals in life.
Taking her turn, Omega Banda, another graduate from the same university but teaching English and History at Katoto Secondary also encouraged the girl students to have a vision.
She shared her experience with the girls saying it was not that easy for her parents who were primary school teachers to afford school fees for six children in her family.
After getting five credits at MSCE on her first attempt, Omega did not make it into the university. She did not lose hope but to study again, paying special attention to Physical Science and Mathematics with a changed attitude from her earlier perception that she could not do well in these two Science subjects as a girl.
She finally got a 4 in Physical Science and a 3 in Mathematics and got a place at Mzuzu University where she studied Bachelor of Arts (Education).
Omega is also an adjunct lecturer in the Languages Department at Mzuzu University and an entrepreneur, running a decent restaurant at Luwinga.
When she said “I get money from the Ministry of Education as a teacher, I get money from Mzuzu University as an adjunct lecturer and I also get money from my business and I buy fuel for my car, yet I am single,” the girls murmured with enthusiasm, happiness and envy.
“All this is because I worked hard in school and everything else had to wait until I finished school. I therefore encourage you to know what you really want in life and have a vision,” she added.
GENET Project Coordinator, Taonga Kachilonda Phiri, told the girls to strive at wearing three gowns in the correct order in life.
She said gown number one should be the academic gown after graduating from college and later the wedding gown which could be followed by the maternity gown, in that order.
Speaking to Nyasa Times after the event, Phiri said they had a similar activity at St Augustine Community Day Secondary School in Nkhata Bay and at St Ann’s and Lufulia Community Day Secondary Schools in Karonga.
“We think that these role model sessions are important in motivating our young girls to work hard in school and achieve what they want in life as they relate to experiences of their fellow young women through a change in their attitude towards education,” explained Kachilonda Phiri.
Mervis Kalumo, a Form One student on GENET bursary, told Nyasa Times she was inspired by the talks and will work hard towards becoming a State Registered Nurse.
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