Malawian fundraising prayer day for girls’ education
By Bellah Zulu, ACNS
An Anglican diocese in Malawi is holding a fundraising prayer day this weekend to help improve girls’ education in the country.
Malawi’s president Dr Joyce Banda is expected to attend the event, as are other high-level officials both from government and civil society.
The Anglican Diocese of Lake Malawi – one of the oldest dioceses in the country – considers primary education a top priority, as can be seen from the one hundred primary schools and four secondary schools it runs.
“We have two community secondary schools in Lilongwe and Nkhotakota and a number of health facilities including hospitals and health centres,” said diocesan secretary the Revd Canon Lt Col Meka Banda. “To develop the livelihood of women, we also run several projects meant to uplift the living standards of women in various communities.”
He explained that the diocese’s fundraising committee has this year chosen to focus mainly on the enhancement of girls’ educational standards in the area. “We are constructing a girls’ hostel at Mthunthama Anglican Community Secondary School.”
He said that the school was chosen as it has one of the highest girl child enrolment despite the long distances that most of the girls have to cover to get to school.
According to Canon Banda, a recent survey revealed that the girl’s daily travel to school was risky as they could easily be attacked on the way.
“As a church, we realise that we need to complement the government’s effort in the provision of quality education for the girl child,” said Canon Banda. “We consider ourselves a major partner in boosting the development of this nation.”
The World Bank reports that only 27% of Malawi’s girls enroll in secondary school and of these just 13% will attend. The situation is said to be worse in rural areas where the number of girls who enroll are greatly outnumbered by their male counterparts.