Blantyre — We Care Malawi- a Lilongwe based youth organization has launched a campaign to raise K20.8 million meant for school fees for needy secondary school students who have dropped out of school in Lilongwe rural areas.
The four months campaign dubbed 'send Them 20 campaign' (ST20) started on September 1, 2017 and will see over 20 students receiving full education support for the entire four years of their secondary school education.
The initiative comes against the background of increased numbers of pupils dropping out of school due to lack of fees and other basic necessities.
Speaking in an interview on Wednesday, Chairperson of the fundraising organizing team, Thandizo Kafanikhale said although tuition fees in most government schools is affordable, some students could not afford to raise such money and are forced to drop out of school.
She observed that this is forcing youths more especially girls to indulge in immoral practices in order to raise funds for their education.
"It is a pity to see brilliant boys and girls who score good grades in class dropping out of school. As a youth organization, we cannot just sit and watch the vision of our fellow youth dying a natural death yet we have the capacity to help," Kafanikhale noted.
She said although there are a lot of students in need of support, the organization would only manage to take on board 20 students but the number might increase depending on the amount of funds that will be raised during the campaign.
Kafanikhale added that the students would be selected from Lilongwe Rural Education Division in consultation with the District Education Manager and the Social Welfare Office in order to make sure there is transparency.
She urged Malawians of good will including the donor community to support the initiative.
The Chairperson said activities like fundraising dinners, selling of merchandise, big walks and a football Matches between Blantyre based super league teams and Lilongwe based teams are some of the activities lined up to help in raising the much needed funds.
We Care Malawi is a registered nonprofit youth based organization that works toward the provision of access to quality education and health services for vulnerable children and orphans in Malawi.
The organization is currently implementing a number of projects in adolescent empowerment and support, HIV and AIDS, mentorship and school support.
Blantyre District Social Welfare Officer, Triphonia Limbani, said it is a positive development that different organizations are stepping forward to help needy students since the government does not have adequate resources.
"It is a welcome development because as government we have inadequate resources to provide for the fees and needs of needy students across the country so we really welcome the idea of other partners, civil society organizations that are coming in to support," she said.
Limbani said there is need for effective coordination and collaboration when implementing such activities to avoid duplication of efforts and misappropriation of resources.
Recently, Malawi has witnessed the proliferation of NGO's and other groupings taking part in raising funds for needy student's education, a development which is raising questions as to whether some organizations are not benefiting from the activities.
According to Limbani, the District Social Welfare Office makes follow ups regarding organizations assisting needy students and takes necessary action once discovered to be operating unlawfully.