Lilongwe, Bwaila Lions Club on Saturday rolled out a K14.7 million project named Girls remain in school initiative.
Speaking at the launch of the project at a dinner dance held at Crossroads Hotel in Lilongwe, guest of honour First Lady Dr Gertrude Mutharika said the Girls remain in school initiative is a good move to make sure that girls overcome the challenge of failing to complete their education in the country.
This initiative is of high importance as it reminds everybody of the collective responsibility to bring our girls back to school and ensure that they complete their education, Madam Mutharika said.
She said it is an open secret that women in the country are mostly the least educated and that few girls are completing school.
“It breaks my heart when I read the newspapers, listen to radios or watch on television the alarming number of girls dropping out of school due to child marriages and early pregnancies.
“When I travel, I see many girls roaming around markets and other places selling merchandise during class time,” Dr. Mutharika said.
She added that it is very unfortunate that in this day and age, some families and communities continue to enforce practices that hamper girl child education.
“We need to bring back and keep our girls in school, it is the education of girls that will make women empowerment a reality.
“We cannot be thinking of achieving gender equality, ending violence against women and meaningful development if we continue to allow our girls to stay out of school,” Mutharika said.
She commended Bwaila Lions Club for taking such a significant step and assured the club that it is alone in this noble cause.
“As first lady of the country, I will support the vision and goals of the Lions club to help those in need.
Malawi will hear all of you lionesses as you roar with a mighty voice to bring our girls back to school under the girls remain in school initiative program,” Mutharika said.
In her remarks, second vice District Governor Lion Chisomo Gunda said the project is targeting needy and vulnerable girls to promote education of the girl child.
“We are putting much effort to the great future female lions and leaders of our nation,” Gunda said
She further said that they have a bursary program to cover for needy girl child.
“We are going to be paying school fees, buying them school uniforms and reusable sanitary pads and other utensils so that they can remain in school without any disturbances to their education,” Gunda said.
She added that they have also created a mentoring platform for the girl child to be guided through career development by female professionals including female members of the lions club.
“We will be mentoring and motivating the girl child to achieve more in her life,” Gunda said.
The project, which will run for three years starting from 2017 to 2020, will target three schools in Lilongwe namely; Mwenyekondo Community Day Secondary School (CDSS)l, Mtsiliza CDSS and Chinsapo Secondary School.
The dinner dance, organized by female Lions of Bwaila, also saw the induction of First Lady Dr. Mutharika as new member of the Club.
The International Association of Lions, to which Bwaila Lions Club and other Lions club of the country belong, is an organization that provides humanitarian service.
Source: Malawi News Agency � MANA