Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare has suspended implementation of a bursary scheme created to support poor and orphaned learners effectively raising fears of a bleak future for the needy children.
Salima District Council social welfare officer Honest Kayira, made the revelation at Kanongola Full Primary School on Sunday during an interface meeting between duty-bearers and citizens.
The National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) Trust organised the interface meeting to review interventions and effectiveness of service charters in improving public service delivery.
Some participants queried an official from the Department of Social Welfare on why government stopped supporting needy and orphaned learners in the district.
The participants disclosed that the suspension [of the scheme] had affected many needy and orphaned learners in the district, with others literally dropping out of school as there is no support in sight.
In his response, Kayira confirmed the suspension of the bursary saying this followed a decision by Global Fund and National Aids Commission (NAC) to stop funding to the scheme over the recent past.
“There are, however, still other government and non-governmental agencies, which are providing bursary to the needy and orphaned children. These include Kindle Orphan Outreach, the Ministry of Education and World Relief, among others,” he explained.
But Kayira called upon needy and orphaned children to register with the department for easy tracing when resources have been identified.
Salima NICE district civic education officer Queen Mkandawire said the Malawi Human Rights Resource Centre (MHRRC) drew the charter in 2008 to enhance improved service delivery in the areas of Traditional Authorities; Bibi Kuluunda, Mwanza and Ndindi.
Mkandawire said at least five Ministries of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Education, Health, Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare and Malawi Police Service undertook to implement it.
“In the three T/As, Mwanza has proven to be the shining star because residents in this area are vigilant. They demand their rights from duty-bearers and that is commendable in a functioning democracy,” she said.
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