The First Lady Madam Monica Chakwera has called on for Women in the Diaspora to come forward and engage more with the government so that their vast talents and expertise can be utilised in various areas in Malawi.
She was speaking on Saturday evening when she addressed over 400 Malawian women living in the diaspora where she articulated what her organisation Shaping The Future is doing lie offering scholarships to girls.
Madam Chakwera appreciated the role the diaspora saying; "the meeting had given her opportunity to sample the many talents and expertise that is in the diaspora that need to be utilised in various capacities back home."
"We appreciate you the women in the diaspora and even the help some have been providing to our organisation. Recently we had a donation of wheelchairs coming from a diaspora group and we want to work on strengthening that working relationship" said Madam Chakwera.
Madam Chakwera responding to questions from the audience told the gathering that Malawi is now seeing an increase in the reported cases and prosecution of both physical and sexual abuse. She said this is being possible due to what she described as "mother groups", community groups that comprises of various stakeholders including local chiefs and that are urging women to speak out if abused.
She said: "Malawi has in the past suffered from its own cultural challenges especially the culture of silence that made it difficult for women to speak out when abused for fear of ridicule or even threat of death."
The virtual meeting was organised by MCP Diaspora Network (MCPDN) attracted women globally including South Korea, RSA, UK, USA and many more.
An action-packed line up of presentations by various successful women in the diaspora sharing their success stories, to inspire others and showcase to the First Lady what their contribution can bring to Malawi.
South Korean based international development expert Bertha Simbeye Chiuza opened the floor speaking about her journey towards a successful career despite the many hardships and challenges she faced as a woman.
South African based Tina Sayenda told the First Lady and the group of her charity organisation "Girl Child Foundation" working from the diaspora to empower girls in Malawi.
UK based NHS Consultant Chimwemwe Kalumbi Mkambula spoke about morbidity and mortality advising the First Lady that Malawian experts in the diaspora are, willing to help and share knowledge with counterparts in areas of patients' safety and quality healthcare.
Another UK based Edith Chikago Parker spoke about diaspora groups' efforts being at the forefront of helping and mobilising resources for the Covid-19 fight in Malawi.
One interesting story on the night was the inspirational story of young Bolton based Kyla Chenda Joseph who together with her school are raising £50,000 in order to build a school in Malawi. She was not the only young girl given platform to share her story as Dubai based Lusungu Mahowe spoke and requested the First Lady create a platform that provide opportunity for diaspora kids to easily interact with fellow kids in Malawi to help them get accustomed to Malawi language and culture. This was also echoed by Ireland University Student Grace Simati.
Zambian based Bertha Munthali, a nutritionist advised the First Lady that Malawi need to take nutrition serious as malnutrition is known to impact a nation as it affects people thinking capabilities. She also took opportunity to speak of her other exploits that include writing children books and her ability to make kids dolls called "Kamdonthi Dolls" with inspiration from old Malawi folklores.
Other speakers included: RSA based Leah Mwambene, UK based Ellen Mkukupa, Ethiopian based Dr Tapiwa Nyasula Rweyemamu and USA based Omega Nankhuni who shared her experiences as a diaspora business woman.
The women on the night also had opportunity to hear from former Malawi Olympic athlete Catherine Chunda (Nee Chikwakwa), a long distance runner during her days and now based in UK.