Anna Kamanga is 22 years old and training to become a teacher. She lives with her family in the Chisala area. The household consists of both her parents, two sisters, two brothers and five cousins. Their only method of income is through growing food such as maize, cassava and beans. As subsistence farmers they live from hand to mouth. Only if they are able to grow surplus produce do they gain any extra money. When Anna is not in school, she also helps out her family with the household chores. This includes fetching water, looking for firewood and tending the farm.
For a time, Anna’s parents wanted to finance her training to become a teacher. However, the financial instability of the Kamanga family meant school fees were paid late. Thus, Anna was often barred from classes and this demoralised and embarrassed her. Additionally, Anna hated how she was relying on her parents and wanted to support herself independently, but still wanted to become a qualified teacher.
Therefore, she applied to Temwa and, together with our partner the Nick Webber Trust, we supported Anna through her training. The teacher training scheme covers all fees and maintenance over the full two years of the course. Upon completing the course they then spend five years teaching in a local school. When Anna received support she was finally motivated to complete her studies, as she didn’t have to worry about funding them anymore. Plus, this meant that her family could now concentrate on farming and caring for the younger family members. Anna told us;
“Thanks Temwa for the support, although it was not easy, I have a seat for the final examination in teaching. This shows the commitment of Temwa in promoting girls’ education in Malawi and it should not end with me.”
Due to the ongoing food crisis many families, including Anna’s, are facing incredibly difficult times. For the Kamanga family, this meant often not having anything to eat for the entire day, and no money to support the education of Anna’s siblings. While previously other members of the community could support one another, this is impossible due to so many households facing their own hardships. Anna expressed to us that;
“This project helped me to achieve my goal, but also there is a high population of youth who are seeking sponsorship so that they can also achieve their goal. Temwa should sponsor more students in tertiary education because the Malawian government has increased the school fees which will block children who come from poor families.”
Temwa seeks to provide education opportunities for the most impoverished in the Nkhata Bay North area. If you would like to support our work, consider fundraising. Or if you prefer you could also donate.