I have a dream
Memory’s case is one among many cases facing young girls in Malawi. Memory has often been forced to stay out of school because of extreme poverty that existed in her family upon the death of her father. Being the first girl born in a family of five, Memory has spent most of her time caring for her siblings and her family including finding any small jobs to earn money to support her family.
“Life hasn’t been easy for me and my family, I couldn’t continue with school since my family and I had to work hard to earn a living. Poverty has seen many of my friends move to town to look for jobs, some have ended up into prostitution, what can we do?”
“I was born in a poor family that could sometimes go without food every day I didn’t continue with school because my mum didn’t see the importance of going to school when I could help with jobs around the house and looking after my younger brother and sister, she sadly explains. Yet, I have a dream to finish school and become a nurse.”
Many girls who are forced to drop out of school because of poverty which has prevented them from getting an education because of the need to work to boost their families’ income and their parents cannot afford to pay extra costs such as uniforms, books and transport.
Regina Mbembeza, primary school head teacher in Blantyre said poverty has been the greatest barrier to accessing an education particularly for girls. She said most parents, are not highly motivated to let their children attend school and instead allow them to engage in doing some labour job to make a living. “The financial burden of education for those living in poverty include the costs such as school fees, uniforms, shoes, books, transportation, and the cost of a child being in school. Even if institutions are free, most families earn so little they can't afford all the other expenses, “ she explains.
In order to help poor girls stay in school, a number of interventions are needed to make it happen at a family level. “To come up with a plan which will look deeply on solutions that will support families who are struggling to survive hence affect girls education, we have to critically think on how to defeat poverty starting at the family level because it holds so many girls back,” says the activist, adding, “some of the interventions that I see can help the poorest girls stay in school include incentive programs, which give financial support to cover school costs such as transportation.
Hope Africa is an International Christian Charity dedicated to bringing hope to people in Africa. We ask you to stand in prayer with us and to believe God for increase, opportunity and open doors to end sickness, disease and poverty.
Africa is a continent with 54 countries and with huge contrasts in levels of development and poverty. Malawi is one of the poorest countries with 50% of the population living below the poverty line and 25% living in extreme poverty.
Our vision is a world where everyone has access to safe drinking water; has food to eat every day and has access to education – so they can dream and hope for a better future. Our aim is to change one life at a time!