Some girls from various areas in Lilongwe rural are now able to access secondary school education despite their parents and guardians not affording to pay for it, thanks to a local Non Governmental Organisation which is sponsoring them.
The NGO, Community Health and Environmental Care Trust (CHECT) based at Nathenje Trading Centre in the district is paying fees for over 20 girls from Traditional Authorities Kalumbu, Chadza, Kalumba and Mazengera in Lilongwe district.
CHECT Executive Director Leonard Chiluzi told Malawi News Agency (Mana) in an interview that apart from paying fees for the girls, the organisation also provides school uniform, reading and learning materials among others.
Chiluzi said the NGO decided to sponsor girls’ education after noting that a lot of them were dropping out of school in the four TA’s where CHECT is implementing a number of projects with youth clubs in sexual and reproductive health rights issues.
“We observed that the number of girls in most of the secondary schools in the area was low as compared to that of boys and we thought of sponsoring girls who are needy,” said Chiluzi adding an assessment of the girls’ homes is done before putting them on the sponsorship list.
He further said the sponsorship is not limited to secondary level.
“Depending on their performance, we sponsor the girls even up to tertiary level,” he said.
One of the sponsored students, Zainab Kalembo who is in form four at Mwatibu Community Day Secondary School said she is grateful for the support from the NGO which will enable her dream of becoming a nurse realized.
“My parents are poor as such they could not afford to pay for my school fees when I was selected for secondary education. CHECT has been paying for my fees since Form One and I am really thankful for the support. If it were not for this NGO, I would not have attended secondary school,” she said.
The bursaries are being provided with support from the Southern African Aids Trust (SAAT)