Can you imagine graduating high school without having access to books? Add to this other challenges that Malawian students face, including poverty, food shortages, living up to 10 miles from school, and all too often, the loss of one or both parents to infectious disease or HIV. Female students face all of these challenges as well as the pressure to marry early in order to support the family, household and childcare duties, and a society that doesn’t always value the education of girls. Parents who do value education often find it impossible to afford the $50 annual school fees.
WAM's KEEP works with one school in rural Malawi to alleviate some of these challenges. We provide scholarships for school fees, guaranteed for all four years of high school. During the hungry season, when crops cannot be planted, we provide food assistance. In order to address other underlying issues for high school drop outs, we began a peer counseling program, that has been extremely successful for keeping kids in school.
Now thanks to The MINGA Foundation, we are embarking on a new project to not only KEEP kids in school, but also to raise the level of education in Kabudula, so that these bright young minds can have the necessary resources to become the leaders their community is waiting for. With MINGA’s generous grant, we will work with the community to build a library and center for study to educate students for years to come!
Several segments of community identified the need for a library as the highest priority project for education in the community, after the need for scholarships. Therefore, the plan for the library will encompass more than a building. It will be filled with books. It will include a study room where we can run programs particularly targeted to support the success of the most vulnerable students. Integral to the project is provision of extra training for teachers. It will house the first computers available to students in Kabudula, opening up their access to knowledge exponentially. The building itself will be an opportunity for local employment. It will be a testament to the truth that we believe in this community, and in partnership, we can all work together to make this project achieve its ultimate potential.
The level of education in a community is inextricably tied to its overall level of health. Together, MINGA and WAM will work to sustainably improve the overall health of this community in rural Malawi.
We are thrilled to be working with MINGA, and the Kabudula community is overwhelmingly grateful for the support. To learn more about The MINGA Foundation, please visit www.mingafoundation.org.