Malawi: MRCS Bails Out Girl Child On Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Salima — The Malawi Red Cross Society (MRCS) through World Food Program (WFP) is disbursing soya flour or K5, 000 cash to parents of the learners in some parts of the country in an effort to ensure that young school going girls continue to get school meals even after closure of schools due to COVID 19 pandemic.

Speaking when he witnessed disbursement of cash to parents at Thugulu Primary School in Salima on Saturday, MRCS Red Cross Society President Levison Changole said the intervention is aimed at bailing out the young girls in nutrition.

He said the disbursement is meant for the targeted group to continue receiving meals they were getting in school before closure due to the pandemic.

"We are distributing food or cash to parents of the young girls through a United Nations (UN) Joint Program on Girl's Education (JPGE) whose aim is to improve access, quality and relevance of education for girls through addressing key known threats to girls' education," he said.

Changole said MRCS would like to see that young girls stay in school by supporting them with ration even in the COVID-19 period when schools have closed.

The intervention is also aimed at ensuring that the young girls are not lost during the COVID-19 period so that they should go back to school when they reopen.

According to Changole, funds to be disbursed in Salima alone for the program is K300 million.

Changole then urged parents who will benefit from the program to ensure that they use the money for the intended purpose of buying food.

Changole was hopeful that donors would continue to fund the program for irts sustainability in order to save the girl child while at home.

One of the beneficiaries, Magret Jailosi, of Group Village Head Khwidzi in the area of Traditional Authority (TA) Ndindi said she will ensure that the money she got is used to buy nutritious food for her school going children especially the girl child so that they continue to eat nutritious food even at home.

Through the project, over 600, 000 learners from standard one to eight are supported with a three-month school meal take home in Dedza, Salima, Chikwawa Phalombe, Zomba, Nsanje and Mangochi.

In Dedza, Salima and Mangochi, parents receive K5, 000 cash on basis that there are established network of smallholder farmers in the communities who are going to provide the nutritious food to the parents since the project in these three areas work with farmers on home grown school meals.

The program is funded by WFP, Norwegian government, Iceida and Mastercard while MRCS is engaged to do the distribution of the money to support the Ministry of Education.

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