The journey has been long but shorter than initially expected. Some of her friends are mothers but she has persisted and now she is ready to face the final year of Secondary school. Mwai Banda, one of the excited girls I first met in 2010 tells me how her path has changed since she first began participating with Join My Village. “Since knowing Join My Village and your frequent visits to talk to me has kept inspiring me throughout these years. I feel encouraged and improve on my performance everyday you visit me,” said Mwai.
I need to be the best in all the subjects so that I can go on to study at the University.
While Mwai is now in her fourth year in secondary school, there are some of the girls who were with her in primary school that failed to make it this far and decided to marry. They are now mothers; their standard of life is a pity according to Mwai.
When asked about the challenges she has encountered over the years, 16 year old Mwai says, “I wouldn’t say I have had many challenges because Join My Village made everything possible for me. My only challenge is performing below what I want; I need to be the best in all the subjects so that I can go on to study at the University.” There are many things Mwai will remember Join My Village for, the trip to the University of Malawi, as well as, role modeling and assertiveness sessions which kept motivating her to keep on aiming high.
It has been easy for me to spot the difference after working with Mwai Banda for a couple of years now. Unlike in our first chat, Mwai can now articulate and relate things while asking a lot of questions. After four years I now see a Mwai who loves school and hopes for a future on her own.
“I think with the trips to the University and the people I met there, my hunger for education has been growing day by day and I want to advise my fellow students to work hard and avoid bad company if they have hope in their future too,” she says.