By Cedric Nkungula
First Lady Madam Monica Chakwera’s Shaping Our Future Foundation (SOFF) and African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF) Health Africa Malawi on Monday signed a memorandum of understanding to work together in accelerating the attainment of education among marginalized girls in the country through enhancement of sexual and reproductive health and rights.
The function took place at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe.
Speaking at the event, Madam Chakwera expressed optimism that the partnership will greatly contribute to her goal of ensuring girl’s access, retention and completion of secondary education.
The first lady said girls need to feel safe and confident in classrooms, supported, mentored to the right direction as well as equipped with the right information.
“I am therefore confident that the partnership between AMREF and SOFF will help marginalized girls stay in school with improved learning outcomes and engage communities to change social norms that devalue girls and their education,” said Madam Chakwera.
“This partnership will enable AMREF bring in the missing element of support to link community based healthcare activities and workers to the girls and boys we are supporting in schools and also ensure that health services and important health information are linked to our students thereby guaranteeing that the boys and girls have information about sexual and reproductive health issues.”
Madam Chakwera explained that for the country to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s), girls must be protected, educated, empowered and in good health.
“No girl should fail to realize her potential because of lack of school fees or necessities at school,”she said.
AMREF Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr. Githinji Gitahi said his organization is committed to working with SOFF in the areas of grant development, capacity building of SOFF team and training of nurses.
AMREF is currently implementing more than 150 programs and projects through it’s offices in Africa including Malawi.
AMREF believes that the power to transform Africa’s health lies within it’s communities.