By Emmanuel Continhu:
Foundation for Civic Education and Social Empowerment (FOCESE) on Monday distributed learning materials to 140 girls who were affected by floods this year in five schools in the area of Traditional Authority Ngabu in Chikwawa.
FOCESE Programs Officer, Maria Dowa told Malawi News Agency (Mana) that the organization has been implementing humanitarian response to girls in the area as such the donation was this time around used as a platform to teach them issues surrounding gender based violence.
“From May this year, we have been implementing different humanitarian response in the area; our goal is to disseminate information about gender-based violence so as to reduce the incidences in the area. We also want to encourage school going children to continue working hard in school”, she said.
In his remarks, Chikwawa Chief Education Officer, McShades Dakamau appreciated the donation saying a lot of learners were affected by the floods.
“This is very significant it has added value to the district considering that a lot of learners lost school materials during the floods. This donation will encourage participation of the girls in class,” he said.
Dakamau however, condemned some initiation ceremonies taking place in the area saying the practice was contributing to school dropout by the learners a development he described as worrisome.
“Let me further warn parents who are hampering with education of their children by sewnding the girls to initiation camps whilst school is in progress. This must stop or the arm of law will deal with them,” he said.
Meanwhile, a form two student at Mbiya Community Secondary School who has benefited from the donation, Ethel Felason has described the donation as a relief.
“I am very grateful and encouraged to have received such donation. It is my plea to other well-wishers to come in and support us because we lost a lot of our school materials during the floods”, she said.