Youth Empowerment and Support Initiative – YESI in partnership with the Janet Allan Memorial Scholarship Fund has launched a 1500 Euro scholarship targeting underprivileged but deserving secondary school students in Salima, Malawi.
Through the scholarship, a total of 16 students have been identified from Yambe Community Day Secondary School and Chilumba Community Day Secondary School, both in the lake show district of Salima. The students have been awarded the scholarship based on their good performance in class as they have demonstrated hard work and good behavior.
During the two-year scholarship, YES Initiative will monitor the students each academic year and assess their academic performance and excellent behavior both at school and at home.
“We are emphasizing the need for students to demonstrate these basic principles because they are foundations of who they will become once they are done with secondary school and values that YES Initiative wants to see in students that go through secondary school,” said Samuel Malasa Banda, Team Leader for YES Initiative at a meeting between teachers, scholarship awardees and their parents.
The non-profit organization ensured that parents should also be informed of their expected role in the scholarship as the task needs to be done collaboratively.
“We don’t want to create a scenario where students turn to be rude to parents saying they are not responsible for their (students) school fees or parents neglecting their children saying there nothing more they need to contribute to their growth,” added Malasa Banda.
Yambe CDSS and Chilumba CDSS are located in remote areas of the district where students walk long distances to access classes. In most cases, the little that parents get through farming activities is spent on school fees, examination fees, and other learning essentials for their school-going children.
One of the parents of the students, Joseph Nthachi, expressed gratitude for the development saying it has always been hard to pay for school fees for his girl child since he does not earn much through his piecework.
“Usually, I would pay the fees in small bits and still find it challenging to pay the whole amount at the end of the school term. Having this kind of an opportunity is a blessing to me as a farmer and my daughter whom I will encourage to always continue performing well and being a good girl,” narrated Nthachi.
The scholarship is currently supporting school fees alone for two academic years for each student where parents are expected to meet the rest of the costs required at school.
Where more funds are possible, YES Initiative intends to extend the program to more schools to reach out to more students who are good performers but are failing to progress due to a lack of financial resources.