Lilongwe, December 6, Mana: First lady Monica Chakwera on Monday emphasised on the need for the country to invest more in the education of girls in rural areas saying many village girls are facing challenges that forces them to drop out of school.
She said this on Monday in Lilongwe during the signing ceremony of grant contract assistance of K94 Million (USD116,035) between Shaping Our Future Foundation (SOFF) and Japan embassy for the construction of a girls hostel and water facility at Katowo Community Day Secondary School in Rumphi district.
Chakwera who is the founder of SOFF said long distance to community day secondary school renders girls vulnerable to sexual harassment adding that girls from poor families face a greatest barriers to education.
The first lady also said secondary school girls who are doing self-boarding in rural areas are not safe because they as they face challenges especially at night that make them to drop out of school.
“Today is my very happiest day because I know what it mean for a girls to walk long to school. Being raised in the village I know what education means to them. Education motivates girls and changes their live from poverty to a better life,” she said
Chakwera said it is sad that the situation in the village remains poor as it was in 50 years ago urging all stakeholders to take action in improving the situations.
She described the signing ceremony as a great day in her life as it reminded her old day she used to walk long distances to access education.
She said the support is very important to the relationship between Malawi and japan but also to the development of Malawi especially on girl’s education.
Chakwera encouraged other organisation to emulate the good example demonstrated by the people of japan by supporting vulnerable girls to complete the education.
She said she would be a happy person if many of the village girls are able to secondary education saying: “When they have reached form four they become matured and make productive decisions for the life.”
Japanese ambassador to Malawi Satoshi Iwakiri emphasised the need for a better learning environment for students in Malawi especially girls.
He said the embassy through grant assistance for Grassroots Human Security Project decided to support SOFF to improve enrolment, retention and completion of secondary school education for girls at Katowo.
“After the project more girls will be motivated to stay in school and pursue their education in order to become reliable citizens for their communities and Malawi in general,”
He also pointed out that the support provided by government of Japan is in line with Malawi Vision 2063 which promotes human capital development especially among girls in the country.
The Japanese ambassador who gave a gift to the first lady commended the first lady for her commitment to improve girl’s education.
He expressed appreciation for the good working relationship between Malawi and Japan which he said the relationship is beneficial for people of the two countries.