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23 CARE Scholarship Recipients Visit 40 Primary Schools
Recently, 23 former CARE scholarship recipients visited more than 150 students from Kalimadzitche, Malawi to attend a leadership and mentorship training session. During the session, students at Kalimadzitche Primary School had the opportunity to ask questions to the women, who serve as role models for the young students.
“Mine is a question, and my question goes to that role model in short hair wearing white and black,” said Alice Black as she pointed to Selina Kamanga, one of the role models and mentors who visited Kalimadzitche Primary School on February 4, 2017.
Alice Black is 14 years old and is a standard eight student. Selina Kamanga is 24 years old, and is now a teacher courtesy of a CARE scholarship program.
“How did you manage to escape the forced marriages we are facing?” Alice asked Selina.
“I have learned a lot since CARE gave me a scholarship. Through assertiveness training I received, I learned about self-awareness and sexual reproductive health, which helped me in improving class participation and making good choices about my life,” Selina responded.
Role modelling activities have proven an effective way of building girls self-confidence, eventually leading to girls undertaking leadership roles and activities outside the traditional female sphere. Lack of female role models who support education is still a major challenge to many rural vulnerable girls and communities.
However, through CARE’s interventions, education has become a clear and visible force of change. Many young girls in the primary and secondary schools now have role models from their own communities.
“I am very shy, and I never thought that one day I will be able to stand in front of people and address them,” Selina shared. She continued, “But my friends that were not lucky like me to be on scholarship are struggling to raise their children and some are divorced. I always feel privileged to be among the lucky ones. I will forever be grateful to CARE, and I will forever share what I have learned. I enjoy mentoring and training others on assertiveness. It has worked for me, and I know it can also work for them.”
The excitement was evident when it was time for the photoshoot. Every student wanted to be closer to the role models, and the three hour Q&A session was not enough; each girl wanted the role models to continue sharing. The stories of these 23 CARE scholarship recipients are strong evidence that education can break down the many barriers to women’s empowerment.