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Written By: Madalitso Banda
CARE provides improved school facilities and increases access to secondary education for children, especially young girls. Management and staff of Santhe Secondary, a school sponsored by CARE, are indeed doing a great job of teaching and inspiring girls within the education program. Santhe Secondary has taught many students who have gone on to further their education in colleges in Malawi, courtesy of CARE scholarship programs.
Access to education gives hope to the hopeless and makes dreams come true for young, vulnerable girls in Kasungu who might typically be forced to drop out of school and get married, and others who could fall prey to becoming tobacco tenants.
Abigail Green, a student in form four, has been on a CARE scholarship since form one. “I am so grateful. They have been there for me since my primary school days at Kantimbo Primary School,” she said, sharing her story.
“We are gaining momentum to pass our MSCE examinations with good grades and get selected to the University of Malawi, as our friends on the same scholarship have done,” Abigail continued.
Honestar Dzanjo, an 18-year-old girl in form four agreed with Abigail, saying, “This scholarship has given me the chance to be who I want to be, and it is such a big boost to my level of confidence,” she paused and continued, “I am a child born out of rape, and I know if I don’t work hard and get educated, the past won’t stop haunting me. The scholarship is all I have to support my educational needs.”
Abiness Chirwa, another 18-year-old student, considers herself lucky to be on the scholarship, as two of her primary school friends who were also selected to attend college are now married and had to drop out of school because of lack of school fees. “It’s our turn now to make our family proud. We are working extremely hard in order to pass with good grades. We are encouraged when we hear about our friends like Grace Ndlovu and Stella Mbewe, who will next year be graduating from St. John Nursing School,” Abiness said.
“We are sisters. We eat together and study together, for we know where we are coming from and what is required of us and what is awaiting us if we excel in our studies,” Abigail explained.
As she finished talking, the bell for lunch rang, and there was commotion outside as every student rushed to the dining room.
“I am happy here, see, we will be eating. People are hungry at the village, and if it was not for this, I could have been like many young girls who become mothers at a tender age,” Abigail said as she walked to join the others in the dining hall.