There are almost 4.5 million children enrolled in free primary schools in Malawi. Only 35% complete primary school and 8% complete secondary school. Secondary education in Malawi is an even bigger obstacle than primary school education. Once out of school, many adolescents lack realistic options to complete basic education or pursue vocational training. This is when life becomes much more difficult. Facing an uncertain future with an incomplete primary school education; no training opportunities; few life skills; and from poor families - at this point, dreams and hopes are smashed.
Mrs Mbembeza, headteacher at Mpemba Primary School in Blantyre Rural District, describes the future for many Standard 8 learners; "This year we have 201 learners in one classroom, around 60% of our leaners will pass their Primary School Leaders Certificate (PSLC) but the majority will not attend Secondary School because their parents can't afford school expenses. In addition, many parents can't see the importance of education and prioritise the need to work to boost their familes' income; take on household duties; and look after siblings." She goes onto say: "For girls it is particularly hard as they face additional factors such as menstruation, early pregancy, cultural practices and marriage."
Andrea Membe, Hope Africa’s Director adds, “Many families do not enroll their children in secondary school because they cannot afford school fees and related expenses - often costing more than K50,000 per year (£50). The financial burden of education (for those living in poverty) include the costs such as school fees, uniforms, shoes, books and transportation. Inorder, to help children attend secondary school, Hope Africa has come up with a plan which looks at practical solutions to cover school costs such as transportation, school fees, books and uniform.
Hope Africa's Sponsorship Programme sponsors Standard 8 learners who have completed their PSLC examinations from Matindi Primary School. This support will enable students to enjoy a brighter future and better employment opportunities as they will be able to attend secondary schools.
For those successful in getting a place at Secondary School, we will be taking applications for secondary school support. Support could be transportation, school fees, uniform, school books and stationery. Awards will be given on individual merit and decided by Matindi Headteacher and Deputy Headteacher and Hope Africa's Director. Application forms are available from school.
If you would like to suppot this project you can donate today. If you would like further details please email Hope Africa at firstname.lastname@example.org.