We are excited to share a short update on our work to support children in Neno to attend school. We have continued to distribute school supplies to children in our Program on Social and Economic Rights, reaching nearly 2,000 children over this past school year.
In February, the Program on Social and Economic Rights traveled to Mlemeka Primary School, a small school located in the mountains of upper Neno, to distribute school supplies to about 50 children in the program. Rain thundered against the tin sheets of the small school block where parents and children had gathered to receive their school supplies for the term. All of the children are in families who have been determined to be especially vulnerable in need of support; many of them have been impacted by HIV/AIDS both with currently sick family members or family members who have been lost to the illness.
As a PIH staff member read names on the distribution list, parents approached the front of the room to collect the supplies for their children. Exercise books, pens, and pencils—enough supplies for each child to use for the school term. Older students receive math supplies such as protractors and rulers.
Judith, a mother of three school-aged children and a total of seven children, came to Mlemeka to collect her children’s school supplies. “I don’t know how I would survive without POSER help,” she says, clutching a stack of exercise books in one arm and a small child in the other. As a single mother with no husband or family members to help her, she stays very busy taking care of her children and growing crops in her small garden to feed the family. “If [PIH] didn’t help me, I would have to go back to work [to pay for the school supplies.”] Instead, she is able to focus on taking care of her children and PIH ensures her children are able to attend school.
We are continuing to fundraise to cover school fees and school supplies for children in the next term (August 2013). Thank you to everyone who has supported this project. We look forward to continuing to update you on how you are helping to make a difference for children in Neno, Malawi!