When I go through the list of scholars under Join My Village, I often find girls with the same surnames (last names). As a Malawian, I am aware of the common clan and family names that exist in our country due to extended families. You could for instance find so many ‘Phiri’s’ in opposite parts of the country that are not related at all but finding Phiri’s in the same community usually means they are in fact related.
Mtisunge Foster Phiri and Chitsimiko Foster Phiri are sisters and both in the same class. Do you think they are twins? No! They are not. These sisters are both in form one, Mtisunge the elder is 18, two years older than her sister Chitsimiko who is 16 years old. I wondered, though it’s normal but quite unusual for girls as old as Mtisunge to be in form one, why they were in the same class. The answer was simple: “we didn’t want to get married as some fellow villagers were encouraging us to do so, but, to wait to see what the future holds” said Mtisunge. Both sisters know that you have to hang onto your focused mind to achieve what you want.
The girls were selected to go to secondary school in 2007 for Mtisunge and 2008 for Chitsimiko but did not go because their parents couldn’t afford to pay for their school fees. But they were determined to go to school and not get married as most villagers would tell to any young girl just staying at home. Wonderful indeed!
What I liked most about the girls is their passion for each other.
These two sisters confidently told me that if only one were picked by Join My Village for a boarding school, then they would make a request to share the fees and then both could go to a day schooling school because they both want a better future altogether. Mtisunge hopes to be a nurse and Chitsimiko dreams of becoming a Field Officer like those working for Join My Village.
I especially liked the last words these sisters said about what they like about being in the same class and school, ”when one is sick or has a problem, we help each other find an available solution”. Don’t you think this is right!