In Malawi’s Phalombe district, 14-year-old Aline lives with her parents and three siblings. When she was in grade nine, Aline began attending Neno Girls Secondary School, where PWS&D provides scholarship support for students in need.
In part due to their own lack of education, Aline’s parents are only able to generate income through their small-scale subsistence farm. A series of climate challenges, including unpredictable rains and droughts over the years, made things difficult for them financially. They survive by taking on day labour at other farms, which hardly ensures they meet their basic needs.
Consequently, Aline’s parents could not afford to pay her school fees and contemplated withdrawing her from school. But, after reviewing the family’s financial situation, as well as Aline’s school performance and behaviour, the school selected Aline to receive a bursary.
Since then, Aline has been doing very well in her courses and hopes to pursue a nursing career in the future. Attending boarding school at Neno allows Aline to focus on her studies without the burden of domestic responsibilities like fetching water and caring for young siblings. For the family, it is both a short-term sacrifice and a long-term investment to have Aline in school.
Filling in the Gaps
Around the world, as many as 48% of girls are out of school. In primary school alone, this means that 15 million girls are out of school, compared to 10 million boys. PWS&D knows how imperative it is to educate girls. Working with local partners in Malawi, Guatemala and Afghanistan, we are working to help more children access opportunities to create brighter futures.
The importance of education for a child’s future can’t be overstated. Education provides children with the ability to navigate the world with social-emotional skills, self-confidence, stability, opportunities and self-confidence. The benefits of education for girls extend not only to them individually but to their future families. According to the UN, a child born to a literate mother is 50% more likely to survive past the age of five. And every extra year of education reduces the probability of infant mortality by 5-10%.