Malawi’s education system is among the lowest in the world and continues to experience unprecedented poor funding and infrastructure. The net enrolment rate in secondary school is only 16% while enrolment rates in tertiary education remain at less than 1% and is lower than averages in Africa and the rest of the world.
There is Hope values education as a transformational tool that sharpens minds and a movable capital that can be utilized wherever people end up in life. We provide scholarship funding for secondary and university studies for young people with potential which would otherwise be choked by lack of finances. Our work is designed to benefit both refugees and local residents from surrounding villages as a large portion of these populations will struggle to access education.
“Education is the most powerful weapon you can choose to change the world”. Nelson Mandela
For people living in long-term displacement, relief aid provides sustenance, but education provides a ladder to climb out of poverty and become change agents.
University enrolment in Malawi is among the lowest in the world. Only 80 students per 100,000 enrol for higher education. Moreover, expensive fees often result in a large number of people not being able to continue with their college education. This is an even larger issue in rural areas where incomes are that much less.
Our sponsorship covers tuition and upkeep allowances for degrees that take between two and four years. We also strive to provide moral support and encouragement along the way.
We aim to increase the number of opportunities for both refugee and host community residents through our University Scholarship Programme. Each year we select applicants to pursue diplomas or degrees in Malawi’s universities. Malawi currently limits employment possibilities for refugees to medical and teaching careers. We believe that higher education provides either better social integration within the host country or better opportunities in the event of repatriation. Our hope is that these scholarships will prepare future leaders to make a positive contribution to their own communities. Our founder, Innocent Magambi is one such example of this.
Secondary school scholarships
In Malawi a much larger number of girls drop out of primary and secondary school than boys. Circumstances such as assuming household responsibilities, unexpected pregnancies and early marriage often discourage girls from returning to education. These girls will often have to travel long distances through rural routes to arrive at school. Unfortunately, this makes them more susceptible to sexual harassment. Schools are often not equipped with acceptable sanitation or running water further discouraging attendance at schools. Finally, where families cannot afford for all their children to go to school sons are often prioritized over daughters.
The government of Malawi has been escalating programmes aimed at keeping the girl child in school through such initiatives at the European Union’s Improving Secondary Education in Malawi (ISEM).
In 2016 we launched the secondary school scholarship programme targeting Malawian girls living in the communities around Dzaleka Refugee Camp. Our first aim is to support those girls who are considered highly vulnerable (i.e. orphans or those with disabled parents). We support young girls in secondary education by providing her with a scholarship package that pays for her education and boarding.
On the other hand, male students from the rural and underprivileged communities of both the Dzaleka Camp and Malawi equally face challenges in accessing secondary school education due to abject poverty. This calls for a balanced approach when providing education scholarships to both males and females. In 2021 we found a new donor, MBStayton LLC, which is funding us to extend the scholarships to vulnerable boys from 2022 to 2025. Our target is to support 23 boys for 4 years from the refugee and Malawian communities through the grant.