Our education bursaries
Secondary School Bursaries
Although primary education is free, secondary education is not and many children drop out of school as they know there is little hope of meeting the modest fees. So we provide bursaries to cover school fees, uniforms, shoes, exam fees and a small living allowance. (We found that some children were not attending school as they had no money to buy soap to wash their uniforms.) Although, nationally, the primary school drop-out rate is high, our children are motivated to attend because they know there is a real hope of their going to secondary school.
The cost of sending a child to a government day school for one year is approximately £100 and to a government boarding school, £270.
Some children have to walk long distances to and from school, arriving home when there’s little daylight left and so unable to complete their homework before dark. (Few homes in the rural areas have electricity.) So we provide bicycles to enable them to travel to and from school more quickly and in safety.
We’re especially concerned to encourage girls to complete their education – in a country where early marriage is frequently the norm. Because of a lack of affordable sanitary pads and poor facilities at school, many girls tend to stay home for several days each month, missing out on lessons, falling behind and even dropping out. Our girls were delighted to be provided with re-usable sanitary protection made by local women at a nearby training centre.
Further Education Bursaries
Young people who have been supported by us throughout primary and secondary school have now passed their MSCE (Malawi School Certificate of Secondary Education) and need to continue to some form of further education. We’ve funded vocational courses for young people in tailoring, catering, welding and IT.
We’re currently funding seven young people, including four girls, through degree or diploma courses, enabling them to achieve in ways they could previously only have dreamt of.
Veronica Lipululu gained a diploma in Animal Welfare and secured an internship as a veterinary nurse with Blantyre SPCA. We’re supporting Veronica as she studies for a B.Sc degree in Veterinary Medicine.
In May 2019 Mayeso Kachingwe obtained a B.Sc. degree in Food Technology at Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Sciences. Mayeso has since been an intern with an NGO working on nutrition and food security.
READ THE STORIES OF SOME OF THESE YOUNG PEOPLE
The proportion of young people in higher education in Malawi is among the lowest in the world. But Malawi desperately needs a skilled workforce if the country is to overcome obstacles to development and move away from a culture of dependency. The cost of fees, accommodation, food and transport for one student is approximately £1,800 a year and represents a challenge for a small charity like Malawi Music Fund. It’s a development that was not foreseen in 2006 but one that we’re committed to alongside maintaining our activity weeks and secondary school bursaries.