Gladys Manda and Building Brighter Futures for Students

17-year-old Gladys Manda lives with her 59-year-old grandmother and four cousins in Chikwina, Northern Malawi. The family struggles to pay for her school fees after she lost both her parents. This is her story of how Temwa supported her education to keep her dreams of becoming a teacher or a nurse.

“I lost both my parents at a really young age, so I do not have anyone to pay fees for me, it is different with my cousin as their parents are able to support them here and there.”

Secondary school education in Malawi is not free, and the fees and associated costs of uniforms and learning essentials are often unaffordable for families with little household income. Find out more about Malawi’s education system here.

“My grandmother does not have a reliable source of income so fees and basic needs were a problem for me that I dropped out of school last year.”

Without a secure way of paying the school fees, Gladys sadly needed to drop out of school to help her grandmother who was struggling to support the family with her maize farming. Gladys’ absence raised concern with the school’s headteacher, Mr Zimba, who had heard of Temwa’s Bursary Scheme.

“Now that Temwa has come through to support with fees, the only challenges I am facing is lack of basic needs. Since I am the oldest at home, I am usually left to do most of the chores, and with my school, it does not really allow me to have time to rest.”

When I stayed a whole year at home without going to school because of fees. The school head Teacher heard of the opportunity of Temwa offering fees support to vulnerable students, Mr Zimba reached out to the school management committee and mother group to find me, and have back in school.”

Between March and the end of the last school year, Temwa continued providing material support for students like Gladys, following the provision of uniforms, stationery, school bags, water filters and school fees at the start of the year. 

“The fees support has relieved my grandmother as now she can focus on supporting with home needs. Now I know I will have a bright future because I am now back in school than when I was staying home. I hope Temwa will be able to support me with basic needs, such as books and shoes.

I would like to finish school and grow up to be a nurse or teacher, I am still deciding between the two. That way I will be able to support my grandmother and cousins in terms of fees.

I thank Temwa for bringing me back to school, my life would not have been as clear as it is now.”

Through financial and material support, performance monitoring, home visits, graduation ceremonies, complementary support, motivational talks and library support, Temwa’s Bursary Scheme will continue to be there for students like Gladys. 

Read more on our bursary project in our latest report here.

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