Off to Secondary School

Sarah’s blog 7/1/22

It’s been a busy time for Levison, trying to get all the children sorted with what they need for school. He’s also had malaria for which he’s had medication and is now on the mend. Some last bits of school uniform are on order and should be with the young people next week. Boys shoes in big sizes had all sold out, luckily Levison had trainers to give them. Usually, the new school term doesn’t start until February, giving time to order and buy everything for those who have passed their exams and have a place at secondary school. Because of schools having been shut due to covid, they are playing catchup and that’s why the new term has started early.

A record number of students across Malawi have passed their primary school leavers exams which is good news. However, that means there are more children than places at secondary school and children are selected to have a place at secondary school. Also, more places have been made available for boys to be able to board at school, so all the boys and girls going to school, who are supported by the Foundation, will be boarding.

Unfortunately, 11 of our sponsored young people were not chosen for a place at secondary school, despite having sponsors to pay their fees and having passed their leavers exams. Levison has been twice to talk to the education department who are delighted that so many children are being supported. He has been asked to wait for a few weeks until they see how many other children have not taken up their offered places at secondary school due to lack of funds for fees and uniform. Hopefully, all the 11 young people on the waiting list will all be given places. I have written to these sponsors and will, of course, keep in touch to update them.

Currently there are 21 new starts and 12 returners to secondary school. That is 33 young people in secondary education, with another 11 hopefully gaining places too. Four girls (from the first sponsored young people) have completed their education and are now awaiting their exam results to see what their next steps are. That is an amazing achievement for Levison and his team at The William Stewart Foundation. This is only the third year that children from Ibuluma have been able to attend secondary school, previously everyone’s education stopped at the end of primary school if they even managed to finish primary school. THIS IS THE DIFFERENCE THAT HAVING A SPONSOR MAKES. YOU ARE CHANGING THESE CHILDREN’S LIVES FOR THE BETTER BY PROVIDING FOOD AND EDUCATION……THANK YOU! WE COULDN’T HELP THESE CHILDREN WITHOUT YOU.

**(11/1/21 – update. I must apologise for an error I made in the above paragraph that has been pointed out. I’ve just inserted this one paragraph subsequently. What I meant to say is that children that the Foundation supports have only been able to attend secondary school since they have had sponsors. The first few girls who were sponsored had in fact completed some secondary school before dropping out due to lack of funds. Only when sponsors were matched with these girls, and fees were therefore paid, were the girls able to restart their education. To be clear, they have not dropped out since being sponsored as fees have continued to be paid. This is the third year that the Foundation has been able to send sponsored children to secondary school. I said everyone’s education stopped after primary school. I should have said ‘most people’. I’m sorry if I misled anyone. Sarah)**

Because Levison hadn’t been well and was busy getting so many children ready for school, he didn’t manage to take photos of the returners. Once the shoes and other bits of outstanding uniform that have been ordered are in stock then Levison will take photos of all the Foundation children when he visits the school with these supplies.

You will see that BENJAMIN and LAWRENCE aren’t sponsored yet. We are hoping that generous sponsors will come forward to take over the school fees for these two young men. It’s only £25 per month. Thanks for reading, Sarah x

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