NGO pays fees for 240 needy students in Mchinji

Mchinji: Girls Empowerment Network (GENET) has sponsored 240 needy girls and boys with school fees at Kochilira and Sopa Community Day Secondary Schools (CDSS) in Mchinji District.

GENET’s Project coordinator, Blessings Phiri, disclosed this on Monday during the training of 20 female career mentors who motivate young girls around the two schools to enroll and remain in school until they complete their education.

Phiri said GENET is part of a consortium of nongovernmental organizations implementing a project: Improving Secondary Education in Malawi (ISEM), which is aimed at reducing dropout rates especially among girls in secondary schools.

With the coming of the project, we have seen a great change because since the project’s inception, no girl has dropped out from the two schools, he said.

Phiri said GENET, through the project, has sent back to school 30 students who had dropped out due to various reasons. He said the organization has also distributed bicycles to students who stay very far from school to ease their mobility challenges.

School Health and Nutrition Coordinator for Mchinji, Bonex Chikadza, commended the project, saying it has increased school completion rates among girls and other vulnerable students at the two CDSSs.

The project is doing a lot in reducing dropout rates. These schools (Kochilira and Sopa CDSS) were having high numbers of girls dropping out of school due to pregnancies and lacking school fees among other reasons, he said.

One of the mentors during the training, Tionge Chitotcha, said many students in the district drop out of school due to early marriages and lack of parental assistance in providing school basic needs such us uniform, note books and sanitary materials for girls.

ISEM is being implemented in Mchinji, Kasungu and Dowa with funding from European Union (EU).

Source: Malawi News Agency MANA