EDUCATION

One of the focal areas of There is Hope’s work is education. In Malawi, education is key to fostering sustainable economic growth and creating positive social change. Receiving an education can open opportunities for higher income, positive changes in public health, greater environmental concern and stronger communities.  In the lives of refugees, education is key for successful integration in a host country or for successful repatriation. Education plays a crucial role for social cohesion and offers a much needed stable and safe environment.There is Hope offers educational programs in Childhood Development (ECD), Secondary and University studies, and Vocational Training.

UNIVERSITY SCHOLARSHIPS

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Over half of the people living in Dzaleka Refugee Camp are under 18. They have access to primary and secondary education in their vicinity, but only very few of the top performing students are able to continue onto University.

We aim to increase the number of opportunities for deserving men and women through our University Scholarship Program. Each year we select the strongest applicants from the refugee and host community, to pursue diplomas or degrees in one of Malawi’s Universities. Although Malawi currently limits employment possibilities for refugees strictly to medical and teaching careers, we believe that education is not only the best way to assure successful integration in the host country but also repatriation. We believe our scholarships prepare future leaders to make a positive contribution to their home country or host community.

Our founder, Innocent Magambi, was once a beneficiary of a similar scholarship. Being exposed to education and to “the outside world” were both catalysts for him to conceive the vision for There is Hope.

Since 2009, we have sponsored more than 30 refugee men and women in our University Scholarship Programme. Our sponsorship covers tuition and boarding for degrees at a Malawian university that take between two and four years. We also strive to provide moral support and encouragement along the way. In 2016 we expanded the scope of our work and included Malawians in our University Scholarship Program.

SECONDARY SCHOOL SCHOLARSHIPS

More than 30 percent of girls in Malawi drop out at secondary school level. Girls in contrast to boys are more burdened by household responsibilities and more susceptible to child labour, early marriage, and unplanned pregnancy. Additionally, the threat of sexual harassment and violence in school and en route to school and the lack of sanitary facilities in schools (no latrines, no running water) often discourage girls from pursuing an education. Furthermore, many families generally prioritise investing in the education of boys.

In 2016, There is Hope opened the secondary school scholarship program targeting Malawian girls living in the communities around Dzaleka Refugee Camp. We specifically choose the girls who are considered highly vulnerable, i.e. they are orphans or either one or both parents are living with a disability and their families are unable to send them to secondary school. Our program allows these girls to attend a quality private secondary school with room and board included, allowing them to fully concentrate on their studies.

EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT (ECD)

In Malawi, communities play a central role in providing education, health, and nutrition. A child’s earliest years are crucial for determining their overall development. Early Childhood Development (ECD) is a community based program for children from birth to eight years of age. Members of the community are asked to volunteer, as care givers, to instruct the children in preparation for primary school. Early Childhood Development (ECD) can have a lasting impact on the holistic development of a child. There is Hope supports community-based ECD initiatives by facilitating trainings to equip the caregivers to teach the children and by providing maize seeds and fertilizer to ensure the sustainability of their feeding programmes. Since 2013, There is Hope has supported 7 ECD initiatives.

VOCATIONAL TRANING

High-quality, relevant vocational education and training is a prerequisite for economic development. Malawi has a definite shortage of vocational education opportunities. Most young adults learn their vocation “on the job” and this can result in low quality skills. The demand for vocational training within Dzaleka Refugee Camp and the host community is high.

There is Hope offers accredited vocational training for the refugee and host community. The programme began in 2015 and currently offers courses in carpentry, bricklaying, tailoring, and photography. Courses take students through the theory and practical learning of their chosen vocations over a period of six months. 103 men and women from the refugee and host community have graduated from our Vocational Training School, as of February 2017.