This year’s theme for International Day of the African Child is ‘conflict and crisis in Africa: protecting all Children’s Rights.’ Children in Malawi still face many obstacles in gaining the right every child should hold, the right to primary and secondary education.
Girls are particularly disenfranchised as 50% of girls in Malawi marry before the age of 18, with one of the world’s highest rates of child marriage. Education is highly inherently linked to the prevalence of child marriage. According to the United Nations Population Fund, 66% of uneducated women aged 20–24 and 62% with only primary education were married or in union at age 18, whereas this was the case with only 16% of women with secondary education or higher.
Temwa aims to support children in carrying on to secondary education and prevent girls from the inevitability of child marriage through our bursary schemes. Primary school in Malawi is free, secondary school isn’t, meaning that only 25% of children go on to receive a secondary education. Our Nick Webber Trust project gives bursaries to cover secondary school age children through their education. Our aim is to raise the level of education in Nkhata Bay North.
Here are three students who have benefited from the Nick Webber bursary, Melina, Jacob and Faye:
Melina is 14 years old; she attends Chikwina Community Day Secondary School in Karonga village.
Melina: ‘I am thanking Temwa for what it has done in my life. My parents could not afford to support me the way Temwa do. This organization is so special because it is not easy to sponsor me.’
Melina’s mother: ‘After hearing that our child had been selected for the Temwa bursary I was very happy and so excited. Since I have been sick for several years I have not been able to support her in full in terms of school fees, uniform and writing materials; all of which are essential to her education. Temwa has taken up a great responsibility which I couldn’t afford. Thank you Temwa for everything.’
Jacob is 20 years old; he attends Chikwina Community Day Secondary School in Kayuni Village.
Jacob: ‘I am very happy because this year is my final year in secondary school, Temwa has been supporting me
since form one. Realistically, if Temwa didn’t have this program I would have had to drop out of school due to lack of school fees. Temwa is indeed supporting students in need whom will be out of poverty soon. Because I passed my final examination with flying colours, I can see the vision.’
Jacob’s mother: ‘I am a widow and rely solely on agricultural production and I am now sick suffering from asthma therefore I cannot afford to cultivate the crops as I did before. I thank Temwa for promoting and helping my son in his education. Temwa should continue this program.’
Faye is 17 years old; she attends Chikwina Community Day Secondary School in Mjutu Village.
Faye: ‘Considering right to education for an orphan like me is not easy, Temwa are like my parents. I am about to sit my final examination because of the support they provide to me.’
Faye’s adoptive mother: ‘Am pleased in the way Temwa support Faye. She is an orphan and even I was not able fully support her in promoting her education. Thanks to Temwa education is the key to success that will change the status of Nkhata-bay north households.’