Paying it forward: Watipa scholar launches scholarship program in Malawi

PHOTO-2018-06-23-16-15-34My name is Prudence Chavula. I am a Public Administration student at The University of Malawi, Chancellor College.  From childhood, I have always been passionate about community work. Growing up, I have been through a lot myself hence the desire to contribute towards the positive regeneration of my community.

After sitting for my secondary education in 2014, I started volunteering with various organizations that operate within my community.  On the 10th of January in 2015, I started my own initiative called “Go Fund A Girl Child” with an aim of transforming my society through education. Go Fund A Girl Child advocates for girl child education and women empowerment at large. This transformation is brought about by fighting against child marriages, influencing policy and attitude changes relating to girl child education, bringing back school drop outs to school and assist rural vulnerable and orphaned girls to remain in school.

Being a Watipa scholar acts as a motivation to do more for my community. For the initiative to grow I need to have a sound financial source which I can only get once I am done with my education and become independent. Watipa came through for me when I had completely lost hope. 

Since it’s establishment, Go fund A Girl Child has achieved a lot through it’s operations. To begin with, Go fund a Girl Child conducts back to school campaigns in villages. This is done in collaboration with the mother support groups and traditional leaders. So far, 22 girls have been brought back to school. Adding to that, Go Fund A Girl Child provides school uniforms and shoes to vulnerable students as a way of motivating them to remain in school. So far, 400 school uniforms have been provided to both girls and boys in a few selected schools. Apart from the school uniforms over 500 young girls have been assisted with plastic shoes. As a way of complimenting the effort of keeping a girl child in school and responding to the sexual and reproductive health needs of girls and young women, Go fund a Girl Child distributes and trains girls and women on how to make reusable sanitary pads. Over 2500 girls and women have been trained all over Malawi. Lastly,  Go fund A Girl Child has conducted mentorships sessions in over 20 schools where approximately 5000 students have been reached

Recently, the initiative has introduced a scholarship fund that is targeting teen mothers who are willing to continue their secondary education through an open secondary school. The teen mother scholarship fund is set to benefit 5 or more teen mothers in the next academic year. Currently, we are fundraising money for this scholarship and identification of beneficiaries is underway. MK 30 000 is required to support one teen mother per academic year.

My work has been featured in various newspapers, radio and TV stations in Malawi but my dream is to share my work on an international platform. I really want to leave footprints that last in people’s lives.

Prudence Chavula, Waitpa Scholar 2016, Malawi

You can read more about Prudence and her progress in her previous blogs:

Prudence Chavula, November 2017

Prudence Chavula, May 2017

Prudy poster v3

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