In a drive to fight early marriages and to keep girls in school, Othakarhaka Charity Foundation through its Girls and Women empowerment program provides scholarship opportunities to young girls within its catchment area.
Speaking of which, Malawi as a country has the highest prevalence rate of girl-child marriages in Southern Africa, with nearly half of girls marrying before the legal marriageable age. With reference to a 2018 census, the country’s population has jumped by over a third from 13.1 million to 17.5 million in the past decade. Consequently, the national statistical attributes this to the large family size, with a rural woman likely to have six children in her lifetime. Here in Malawi, most girls in rural communities have to choose between staying in the classroom and marrying at grass root age.
In the light of the above background, Othakarhaka Foundation has reaped the fruits of its efforts towards girl-child education as four beneficiaries of its education scholarships have been enrolled for tertiary studies at various public academic institutions in Malawi. One among the four students is Caroline whose parents could not afford to sponsor her at one of the best secondary schools in Malawi (Providence Girls Secondary school) due to poverty, and nearly swapped her at a lower grade one.
Fortunately, she found herself on Othakarhaka’s sponsorship through the I demand access platform and she kept pace with education at her well-deserved fountain of knowledge. To prove her point, she passed her Malawi School Certificate Examinations (MSCE) with flying colors by scooping 12 points from Providence Girls Secondary school. Consequently, she has been admitted to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy at Kamuzu University of Health Sciences (KUHES)
Another high flying student is Sharon who has been admitted to pursue a Bachelor of Geological Engineering at the Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences (MUBAS).
Sharon was full of joy with news of her admission into one of the country’s public universities and she thanked Othakarhaka Foundation for presenting her with a platform to pursue her academic dream.
Commenting on the success of this young girls, Ida Puliwa Mwango, who is the Executive director of Othakarhaka Foundation admits she is always thrilled with the student’s success as it is more thrilling when such success comes from both males and females.
“As an organization that puts girl-child education at the top of its priorities, we are always plump with joy when girls who are benefiting from our scholarships are shinning in academic corridors. The academic excellence of these girls are an indicator that indeed we have lots of bright girls in Malawi who have the potential to excel in education but are hindered because their parents are financially Incompetent,” says Mwango.
As a charity organization, Othakarhaka shares the common belief that when you have educated a girl-child you have educated a nation