Mary wants to be a police officer, Fabiyano hopes to be a teacher and Mayeso dreams of being an engineer.
Everyday these dreams become more achievable thanks to a PWS&D program providing support to secondary school students in Malawi. As part of a five-year, Canadian government-supported program, PWS&D and our partners are working to build sustainable livelihoods for the future.
Mary, Fabiyano and Mayeso all attend the Chikuli Community Day Secondary School. Two hundred students come to this school everyday; many of them walk far distances in order to attend school and lack school fees, supplies and the necessary support to continue their education.
Mary, who lives with her grandmother, leaves home early in the morning so that she isn’t late for class despite the long walk. Her older brother has already had to drop out so that he can work to help support the family.
Mary shares why it’s so important for her to keep going to school: “I am driven because I want to start working as soon as I finish school. Then I will be able to support my family, but also other vulnerable people in my community.”
Not only are students receiving much-needed support as part of this program, but parents are also being empowered. PWS&D is working in communities to organize and train local parent-teacher associations (PTAs). The PTAs are receiving training in girls’ empowerment (rights of the girl child) and resource mobilization (how to raise funds for their schools).
Francis Malabu, who chairs the PTA at Chikuli, says, “We are prepared to work hard so that we can realize our dreams for this school and so that our children will not face many of the problems that we have faced.”
Mary, Fabiyano and Mayeso will continue to work towards their dreams for their own futures, but also for their communities. As Mayeso shares, “I want to change and grow. And I want the same for my community.”
*Contributions made to PWS&D’s Sustainable Livelihoods program in Malawi are maximized through matching funds from the Government of Canada.