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Yankho: Overcoming Challenges to Achieve Midwifery Dreams

Beaming with confidence and carrying an air of a professional Nurse-midwife, Yankho Makande can be mistaken for a professional who has been practicing in the medical field for long.

She is a recent graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Midwifery, and is a shining example of perseverance and focus. Coming from an extended family, and facing financial limitations, Yankho’s journey through university could have been much harder. Her parents are also supporting her siblings, cousins and other relations. It is a rough terrain for them. Her application for the Malawi government tertiary education loans was not successful.

Financial Struggles and the TIH Lifeline:

Yankho’s story resonates with many Malawian students today. Juggling financial constraints of a large extended family, Yankho initially thought she would rely on government loans to cover tuition fees. However, when she failed to get the loan, the There Is Hope scholarship program stepped in, significantly reducing the burden.

With her tuition covered, Yankho could focus on her studies without the constant worry of finances, as her parents could only focus on her campus accommodation fees.

“At first I was benefiting three-quarters of my tuition fees and my parents had to pay the rest. This was a bit of a struggle in some semesters when they could not afford to find the other quarter. Until I was informed that my fees will be paid in full from third year.”

Support Beyond Academics:

The TIH scholarship went beyond just financial aid. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the program provided essential items like buckets, soap, and facemasks to all its students. To Yankho, this was a demonstration of TIH’s genuine care for students’ well-being.

I did find this helpful and I was amazed that the organisation cares so much about students’ welfare,” said Yankho, clutching her academic paper even tightly.

A Memorable Journey and Looking Ahead:

Yankho’s time at university is marked by a memorable experience, having assisted in safe deliveries for pregnant women during her on-site training in the labour ward.

This experience has given her a sense of purpose and fulfillment, as she was able to contribute to the well-being of others, and she can do a lot more. The scholarship’s support enabled her to focus on her academics and achieve her goals of helping mothers and new born babies in Malawi where maternal mortality is high.

Impact of TIH Scholarship:

The TIH program’s impact extends far beyond financial aid. It provides emotional encouragement and fulfills basic needs that many students struggle to afford everyday. Yankho’s story exemplifies how the TIH scholarship program empowers students to overcome challenges and achieve their academic goals.

The financial support given was like an encouragement to not disappoint both the organisation and my parents. The support gave me hope that I will complete my education without any financial constraints.

Grateful for the Support:

Yankho’s experience is a testament to the transformative power of the TIH scholarship program. She expresses her heartfelt gratitude for the organization’s unwavering support, which made her dream of becoming a midwife a reality. Her story serves as an inspiration to future scholarship recipients, demonstrating the potential for academic success when financial barriers are removed.

My time as a beneficiary of There Is Hope scholarship has been amazing. Whenever I raised a concern, help was given promptly. I will forever be grateful for the scholarship; for without TIH help, I would not have been where I am today,” says Yankho with a broad smile.

With graduation behind her, Yankho is looking forward to becoming a full-time nurse-midwife in Malawi. The scholarship has played a crucial role in her career development, allowing her to learn more about her field and plan for her future as a midwife. She feels proud and fulfilled upon graduation, knowing that she has overcome adversity to achieve her dreams.