(above) NENO, MALAWI - APRIL 14, 2015: Mercy, 17, a POSER beneficiary, standing in front of the maternity ward at Neno District Hospital, where she hopes to work as a nurse one day.
Thank you for supporting Partners In Health and our work to provide social support to children living in rural Malawi. Your generosity creates opportunities for vulnerable children to get to school, helping to break the cycle of poverty and disease. Please take a moment to read about what your donation has helped to make possible over the last school term:
In total, 2011 students (985 girls) were supported through this program, receiving funds to cover the cost of school and examination fees as well as school supplies.
Mercy (name changed for privacy) is a seventeen-year-old girl currently in Form 3 at Chikonde Secondary School in Malawi’s Neno District. Her father passed away some years ago, and her mom supports their family by farming maize, peas, groundnuts and vegetables. Unfortunately, the income that they earn from selling vegetables has not always been sufficient, and Mercy’s education was interrupted whenever her family could not afford the school fees or supplies. That changed when POSER (Program on Social & Economic Rights) began supporting the family: now, Mercy’s school fees are paid, and she has the supplies that she needs. When she graduates next year, she will be the first member of her family to complete secondary school. Her favorite subject is biology—she especially loves conducting experiments related to human anatomy and physiology—and she dreams of becoming a maternity nurse. Ideally she would like to return to Neno following university so that she can serve as a role model to other girls in her community, but she would also like to explore other places throughout Malawi. She is very thankful for POSER’s support, and is eager to use this opportunity to support her family and her community.
We are very grateful for your support of Partners In Health and our Malawian sister organization Abwenzi Pa Za Umoyo (APZU). With your partnership, we've been able to continue supporting students in rural Malawi with economic assistance to help pay for costs associated with attending school. During the period of December 2013 – November 2014, we are delighted to report that:
POSER Recipient Profile: Alinafe
Alinafe is fifteen years old, and lives in Neno with her parents and eight siblings, including a twin brother. They are a family of farmers—they grow maize—but Alinafe aspires to be a doctor so that she can serve the people of Neno.
This dream was nearly derailed when she reached secondary school. In Malawi, primary school is free, but secondary school requires students to pay tuition. This cost is prohibitive for families like Alinafe’s, contributing to the fact that just 8% of women in Malawi have completed secondary school or beyond.
With POSER’s help, Alinafe has been able to continue her education. Her tuition is paid, and she receives a school uniform and learning materials, as well. Alinafe is thriving as a Form 3 student at Chiwale Secondary School, where her favorite subject is English, and her favorite teacher is Miss Chifwa, who teaches Bible Knowledge. She’ll graduate next year when she completes Form 4. She is appreciative of POSER’s support, and knows that without Partners In Health, she would not be in school.
POSER bolsters PIH/APZU’s (PIH’s sister organization in Malawi) clinical efforts by providing social and economic accompaniment to families and individuals in the greatest need. To ensure our efforts are integrated with broader development goals, POSER, like all of APZU’s departments, works closely with various government ministries. We’ve partnered with the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology to equip students with necessary school supplies.
With your support, children like Esther continue to benefit from the program, gaining access to essential resources and materials for attending school.
Esther, a seventeen-year-old student in Form 2 at Chikondi Secondary School, lives with her father and mother and 6 siblings in Helani village, 2 km from Neno boma in rural southwestern Malawi. Five of her 6 other siblings are girls as well and her parents, who farm maize, are both HIV-positive. For several years, the family members have been beneficiaries of the Program on Social and Economic Rights at AZPU. Types of support range from housing, cash transfer, and psycho-social to school fee payment for older students like Esther and school material provision for younger primary school students like her sisters.
Esther, whose favorite subjects are English, Mathematics, and Physical Sciences, says “had it been without POSER, I would not be in school now. Before I started getting support from POSER (towards the end of primary school in Standard 8), I would absent myself because I had no materials.” She goes on to say that “my vision is to complete secondary school and if I do not make it into college, I would like to work within POSER, to identify other needy people in the community… I am from the village, so I know how people are struggling I would like to be on the team bringing interventions to the community.”
With your support, PIH/Malawi—Abwenzi Pa Za Umoyo (APZU) can provide the necessary resources for children like Annie and Mary to attend school, where they develop the skills that can ultimately lift them out of poverty. Thank you for your generosity and for making this work possible.
Annie and Mary, classmates in Form 2 at Chifunga Day School Secondary School, in Lower Neno, are both recipients of POSER school support. They are from farming families whose livelihood comes from maize and groundnuts and have 5 and 6 other siblings. They are both only able to be in secondary school because of POSER’s involvement in their lives. As Annie says, “In my family there are [currently] three children in secondary school, so it would be very hard for my parents to pay school fees for me.” Mary notes that it is helpful not only to have fees the paid, but also to receive materials.
They both aspire to become nurses at university after completing secondary school in Chifunga, where Biology and Physical Sciences are favorite subjects. Mary explains that “I work hard at school … so that I can assist patients.”
Thank you for contributing to Partners In Health's Support school costs for children in rural Malawi project on Global Giving. I encourage you to take a minute to read this brief story about a beneficiary of the program -- Chifunilo. With your help, we are providing the basic tools and resources for children like Chifunilo to succeed, thus breaking the cycle of poverty and disease, one community at a time.
Chifunilo lives in rural Lumbe village with his four younger siblings and grandmother. At 17 years old, he is in Form 2 and says “without POSER’s support, I wouldn’t be in school at this time.” He has been receiving support from POSER for three years – since Standard 8 – and all of his siblings are also beneficiaries. This assistance is critical for the family, because as Chifunilo says “even to get soap my family had to do piecework. My grandmother relies on farming, but it is difficult because she is aging. After school we go to the garden to help her.” However, with support, Chifunilo is doing well in school and is thinking about his future. His favorite subjects are Geography, English, and Mathematics, because with Geography “I know about the location of other places, other countries, and about their natural resources.” With good math skills, he knows it “will make it easy for me to be an accountant or to work in the bank.” One day, he “would like to work in an office, especially to work on a computer… I am dreaming of work[ing] in an office like this one. I would like to do the job you are doing yourself, because you are helping us.”
POSER reaches 2,000 vulnerable children in the district each year through its school support initiative. 200 of these are secondary school students, like Chifunilo. These students, in addition to the fee payments to their schools, also receive uniforms, math instruments, rulers, notebooks, and pens. Staff members also build strong connections with the students to support their psychosocial health and provide mentorship and support.
APZU will continue to welcome donations to cover the costs of school fees and materials for secondary school students. Zikomo kwambiri to everyone who has supported this project! You are helping to make a critical difference for children in Neno.
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Annual Giving Coordinator