Sarah’s blog 24/08/23
Maria Chizumira is an orphan living with her aunt and younger sister. They are living in extreme poverty. Maria had missed school so she could try to help earn some money to buy food. When she was 15, having failed her primary school leavers exams, she asked Levison for help with her school work. Levison has previously commented to me how hard she works and how Maria will help out around the Foundation.
Maria managed to pass her primary school leavers exams and we found a sponsor for her. She went to Chisenga Secondary School for s1 and then, when Bright Futures Secondary School opened in November last year, she transferred there for s2 and worked hard for her s2 exams. Unfortunately, Maria found out she was pregnant a few months ago and this was obviously a big shock to her. However, Maria kept studying and working hard at school. She sat her s2 national exams along with her classmates while she was just weeks away from giving birth.
When her baby was due, unfortunately she needed a c-section which was very traumatic for her. Her baby boy, Wasika, arrived safely and they have both recovered well. Last week we heard that all the s2 students, including Maria, passed their s2 national exams. Maria intends to start back to school next month and her auntie will help with childcare.
Whilst having a baby before finishing education isn’t ideal, if these vulnerable teenagers didn’t have secondary education, far more of them would be pregnant and being married off too young. Secondary education in Malawi has to be paid for. Bright Futures Secondary School is free for those who cannot pay and has part-funded places for those who can contribute.
Education is the best way out of poverty and all the students want to work hard and reach their potential. We are proud of them all, especially how hard Maria has worked, and we know that her little boy Wasika will be proud of her too. Maria’s younger sister, Ethel, has just passed her primary school leavers exams. She came and asked for a place at Bright Futures Secondary School and is delighted that she now has a place in s1 next month and that we have matched her with a sponsor.
Bright Futures Secondary School will continue supporting students like Maria. Classrooms 3 & 4 are well underway for next session. However, we still need to buy text books, build a latrine block and build more teachers’ accommodation. If you are able to donate students, like Maria, will be very grateful to you. https://gofund.me/ece5753a .Thanks, Sarah x