Women supporting Women: Alinafe and her Grandmother

Alinafe and her Grandmother


Although primary school is free in Malawi secondary school is not. This means only 25% of children continue into secondary education. In Nkhata Bay North, only 3% of girls will complete secondary education and 6% of boys. Since Temwa’s Secondary School Bursary Scheme launched in 2008, we have helped hundreds of gifted students, who would not have been able to afford secondary education attend school.

Almost two thirds of our current Bursary Scheme members are girls and we thought it was high time we made some introductions. Meet Alinafe. 

Alinafe Siska, a student at Usisya Community Day Secondary School (where Temwa’s Girls Hostel has just been built), has a bright future and is seeing her dreams become realities.

“I dream of becoming a nurse and I would really want to go to college soon after I am done with secondary school.”

Alinafe lives with her five siblings and grandmother and they farm to survive. With Alinafe’s grandmother as the only breadwinner it is hard to feed the whole family and without a steady income the family relies on ‘well-wishers’ to lend a hand. With barely enough for food, secondary school was not an option for Alinafe despite showing promise and determination in her classes. 

This was until she was put forward for Temwa’s Secondary School Bursary scheme. Since joining, Alinafe has been able to attend school. The scheme works with local schools and provides the fees to cover classes for low-income students. Books, materials and uniforms are also given to the students. The project team visit Alinafe’s grandmother to see how the community and Temwa can support the household so that she can focus on her education.

Alinafe still has to help out with chores and food preparation. This means balancing time spent on her homework with supporting her household. But now her grandmother understands the importance of her education, she takes on extra chores, giving Alinafe the time to study without interruptions. A beautiful demonstration of women coming together to create change. 

Above: Alinafe and Her Grandmother on a home visit. 

Her grandmother told us..

“I am very thankful for the sponsorship from Temwa. I fail to provide necessary education support to my granddaughter. Without Temwa, I wouldn’t be able to provide the school related materials to enable her to learn effectively.”

With the funding from the Bursary scheme, encouragement from her grandmother and Alinafe’s hard work she has been able to continue her education. We cannot wait to see what she does next! 

By taking on a challenge or becoming a monthly giver, you are giving more women greater hope for the future.

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