It was time to take the girls away from the books and connect them to women who are striving for a better life. There were faces of mixed description – some with looks of curiosity, not knowing what to expect while others were excited for this once in a lifetime opportunity to travel to town.
Once we arrived, the reception we received was fascinating, making our girls feel at home. This was a trip organized by Join My Village as a way to encourage high performance among the scholarship girls. The girls were from different secondary schools that work with Join My Village. “This trip is historical not only to me but even my family, I really wish my parents could know that there are women out here who have gone this far,” said Triza from Khola Secondary school.
Echoing what Triza said was Mavuto who will be sitting for her form four examinations in a couple of weeks. “To get educated, one needs not only to be in class, adventures help to expose us to new things and helps to make one more knowledgeable,” she says.
During the day visit the girls met with students and teacher from Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) formerly Bunda College of Agriculture and Kamuzu College of Nursing in the capital city of Malawi, Lilongwe. The curiosity kept the girls going and they walked around the two campuses tirelessly. When it was all said and done, they went back to their respective schools with lots of stories. They giggled all the way feeling different from the rest of the students having witnessed what could be their future.
“My highlight of the day is the meeting with the vice chancellor of the LUANAR, Professor Phiri, which is something I never dreamed I would do. In fact, I didn’t know that this professor comes from Kasungu and as he shared things that he has developed and the plans he has for his home area, I feel proud of him,” said Alinafe who was also among the girls that made the trip.
While there is hope that some girls will make it to the University, many could not make a final choice of which University they may prefer studying. “Despite both Colleges having good structures, to me LUANAR is good because it is away from town giving students enough time to concentrate, but I can’t rule out the possibility of Kamuzu College of Nursing as I have seen young women, almost my age, taking us into different places, having laptops where they can surf the internet and learn about anything that crosses their minds. I also loved their uniforms because they look unique,” disclosed one of the students from Chilanga secondary school.
When it was time to go back home the girls are no longer singing on the buses, instead they were all sharing what they like most about the trip; some said they love the environment of the classes, the rooms and the library while others appreciated the laboratories and other experimental places like the food science lab. The one thing that they did agree on was how grateful they were for Join My Village giving them the opportunity of a lifetime!