MALAWI: Students at Don Bosco Technical College receive awards for their school success
(MissionNewswire) Ten students who have excelled in their studies at Don Bosco Technical College and other secondary schools in Lilongwe, Malawi have been awarded prizes during the MwanawaMzakoawarde ceremony which took place at Likuni Parish, according to an article in the Maravi Post.
According to the article, the Mwanawamzako award is a project started by Father Hermes Paononga who in 2003 grew concerned with the number of local orphans that were not able to access secondary schools due to their lack of money to cover school fees. The awards were started as way to help promising students continue on with their education and technical training.
This year, there were three categories of Mwanawamzako awards including the sponsors award, the secondary school program award and the board of directors award.
Martha Majamanda and Auswald Lingson, who both attend the Don Bosco Technical College, were recognized in the sponsors award category. Majamanda received a new Singer sewing machine to enable her to start her own design and tailoring business. Lingson received a complete builder’s tool kit. Other students from Don Bosco were also rewarded for their success and given a blanket. They included Sara Kachimera, Victoria Nthara, Frank Mkwezalamba and Ethel Willy.
The secondary school program awards were given to Ulemu Mkaka, John Stefano, Neria Banda and Grace Mayenje, who each received a matching tie and shirt for passing their MSCE tests. The board of directors award went to Ulemu Mkaka who was given MK10,000 for passing the MSCE test with 14 points. He said, “This will motivate me to work hard so that I realize my dreams. I’m indebted to the MwanawaMzakoawarde program because my life will never be the same.”
Speaking during the ceremony, Dr. Agnes Chimbiri, assistant resident representative at UNDP and guest of honor at the event, announced that a new sponsor has been found to provide funding for five students’ schooling, bringing the total number of students being helped by the program to 55.
Dr. Chimbiri said the impact the program is having in the life of students is immense. In the article she is quoted as saying, “This program is a game changer, and we are very proud to see the students we are sponsoring getting good grades as is the case with Ulemu Mkaka. Another interesting factor is that more students are now able to get skills training, and this means that their future is clear and bright.”
Felicity Malewezi, wife of the former vice president of the multi-party and one of the directors at the Mwana Wa Mzako school, noted in the release, “What has made this year’s awards unique is that they are in three categories. We are very happy to change the lives of boys of girls who without this support could not finish their education. Instead of getting married at the age of 14 or 15, the program has delayed the age of when girls marry by four or more years.”
Starting in 2019, the program will also be giving a special prize to any student at the Don Bosco Technical College who completes a full course in a skills training program.
In Malawi, more than 50 percent of the population lives in poverty and the majority of households have women as the head of the household, according to the World Bank. Located in southeast Africa, Malawi is a landlocked country bordered by Zambia to the northwest, Tanzania to the northeast and Mozambique to the east, south and west.
Agriculture is a central part of Malawi’s economy but land distribution is unequal and crops are highly vulnerable to the region’s frequent droughts. Few houses have piped water and less than one in 10 Malawians have access to electricity. Water is collected from wells or streams and most cook over an open fire. Malawians deal with hunger and malnutrition on a daily basis. According to the U.S. Agency for International Development, 45 percent of the country’s children under age 5 are stunted due to a lack of adequate nutrition. Many children also lack educational opportunities and have few options for improving their circumstances.
USAID – Malawi
World Bank – Malawi