Educating a Girl Educates a Nation.
Meet Esther Kawale, a Malawian who wanted to give back and empower girls in Malawi through education. She is currently a Board member with Kuwala Christian Girls School.
Esther grew up in Malawi and attended a government primary school. Born to a middle-income family, she had all the basics in life and what she says was even a little more luxury. Esther continued her education at a Mission high school in Lilongwe. She managed to go to a private University in Malawi before going to the United Kingdom to further her studies.
Her education provided her with a career as a Programs Manager at Agricultural Commodity Exchange for Africa. There she works with smallholder farmers to help link them to structured markets for their produce. Esther believes education is the key to opening opportunities as well as opening our minds. An educated person reasons much better than one who is less educated. It brings development to a family, a village, and a nation.
Esther believes that girls’ education is essential to developing a nation. Girls are at a disadvantage as they are the key to managing their home. An educated woman will understand the importance of educating her children. By having more educated women, we are assured their children will go through formal education.
We asked Esther why it is vital that Canadians (and North Americans) become involved, supporting girls’ education halfway around the world? Esther replies, “Poverty is relatively high in Malawi; 90% of people live on just a $1.00 a day. We are grateful because the girls we are supporting could not afford the type of education they are getting at Kuwala. These girls are from impoverished families and those who did not have the opportunity to go to a reputable high school. These are the girls who do not go to the government secondary schools, not because they are not intelligent, but because of lack of space in the schools, because of affordability or live too far away. Our partnership helps reach out to these girls, those who would have ended their education at primary school.”
In the few short years we have been in partnership, we have seen a positive change already. The impact that one child is bringing to their home is evident. We have seen the girls from Kuwala, when they go back to their communities, motivating other’s young ones to work hard in primary school. Parents look at their children with pride; they see development in their communities and have a positive view on education. They want to work hard to find the minimal contribution that they are to give to their students. Changing minds changes nations.
“Help educate the underprivileged girls in Malawi to help develop Malawi, to help boost their self-esteem and thus, their families and their communities be inspired. An educated nation is a developing nation.”
Planting a “Living Wall.”
It is the rainy season in Malawi, and tree planting is continuing. The students are planting upwards of 400 acacia seedlings along the campus perimeter, so in time, it will grow thick and strong and become a “living wall.” The living wall will bring beauty to the campus, provide security and shade, and control the winds that can cause so much erosion. In five short years, the “living wall” will be tall enough that no one could jump over it. The girls enjoy the spirit of planting. In doing so, they are protective and caring for all their plants and trees. The seedling trees, planted only a year ago, have already grown three times their size.
Giving thanks and giving back.
The girls at Kuwala take the time every December to give back to the surrounding villages facing extreme poverty, yet who support Kuwala. These communities are essential to Kuwala as some are labourers and provide additional security to the campus. They have come to see the changes made to their villages through Kuwala. Some of the students distributed care packages of rice, salt, sugar and a loaf of baked bread. Rice and sugar are luxuries and only really enjoyed when there is a celebration. Christmas is a time of celebration and giving thanks. The girls are learning the importance of giving back; just as they have had the chance of an education, a place to sleep, nutritious meals and protection.
Kuwala needs to respond to the crisis.
As Malawi surges with COVID-19 cases, the Malawian President has ordered the closure of all the schools for three weeks, until the projected date of February 8th . Kuwala will temporarily close after a Health Official screens the students for Covid-19, before they go home. These new measures, including a night curfew and earlier closings for markets are in place as the country surges with cases.
Source: VOA News “Malawi Announces New Lockdown Measures as COVID cases surge” – Jan 18, 2021
The call to action.
Kuwala needs to keep on-hand, sufficient PPE equipment, something that is necessary for the school to function when it is allowed to reopen. We are asking for your help. If you are able to help support additional PPE equipment, please donate today. Specify PPE on your donation. You can donate online through our website firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail through the address on the website.
Thank you and God bless. Stay safe.