Education is a fundamental human right that every child is entitled to. It can help address some of the societies deeply rooted inequalities which condemn many girls to a life of missed opportunities.
Kasungu is such an example where girls are given a second priority to boys. Many parents would prefer sending their boy child to school and encourage a girl to get married. Many think a boy is always a bread winner and girls are always on the receiving end and thus making a girl child less worthy of an education.
Despite having an interest in school, for a girl to be educated she also needs an extrinsic support. She needs parental love and care. Dorothy Banda is a mother to Charity Bazale Banda who is a Join My Village Scholar at Khola Secondary school. According to Dorothy, the fact that she didn’t go further with her education shouldn’t be a reason to deny her children more including limiting her girls from accessing and attaining education.
“I don’t just sit and watch when all my children are on holidays, I encourage them to find time for school work as well,” explains Dorothy who is a single parent for 7 children. “I have to teach those better ways of good life and, of course I have to tell them the reality of life as well!” adds Mrs. Banda.
It is this bit of encouragement that mothers like Dorothy can do to be in the fore front in trying to educate their girl child. Traditionally and culturally in Kasungu girls become more comfortable and relaxed to speak out to their mothers than their fathers.
Charity, who is Dorothy’s fifth born child, could not hide her mother’s love when I visited her at her school. “My mother is my best teacher, she tells all her children that we need to be generous and know the importance of education,” explains Charity who is in her final year at Khola secondary school. Dorothy might not give her children all they need but nurturing them in a motherly love while building their love of education is something worthy of acknowledging. She advises them to learn and to listen. “She tells us to listen carefully to the advice that she as a mother can offer because she knows the consequences of a stubborn child and so she doesn’t want us to fall victim,” said the 19 year old Charity.
Join My Village is paying school fees for Charity. Her mother makes sure that she provides for at least some of the other school needs and thus she decided to join Tiyamike Village Savings and Loan Association group where she can save and borrow. By working together, they can achieve what Charity wants – access to quality education! It is possible to achieve when we join hands and mothers taking a leading role. What a wonderful example Charity has become for her children some day!”