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Empowering Communities: A Tale of Resilience and Education

In the small village of Thambe, 14-year-old Eliza Kondwani faced a daunting obstacle that threatened to derail her education journey. Eliza's dreams of becoming a secondary school teacher hung in the balance when, in standard 7, she was forced to drop out due to a lack of MK2000 needed for the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) fund.

In the midst of her disappointment, Eliza shared, "I was just staying at home without doing anything, and my parents are poor. They couldn't even manage to find that sum of money to pay for my fees. The only money they could find was used for buying food or relish at home for us to eat."

However, a glimmer of hope emerged through the efforts of the mother group at Thambe Primary School, part of CRECCOM's Girls Get Equal project funded by NORAD through Plan International Malawi. Trained under CRECCOM's Psychosocial support program, the mother group learned effective ways to reach out to children facing challenging circumstances that led to dropping out of school.

Armed with newfound skills and knowledge, the mother group at Thambe Primary School took action to rescue Eliza from the clutches of school dropout. They discovered Eliza sitting on the veranda of her home during school hours and, through compassionate inquiry, learned about her situation.

"They tried to find out why I was not going to school, and I told them my situation. They motivated me to go back to school and continue from where I stopped with my education," shared Eliza.

The chairperson of the mother group then engaged Eliza's parents, encouraging them to send their child back to school. The parents, initially idle at home, embraced the advice and began undertaking various piece works to raise the necessary funds.

Previously, the family's meager earnings were solely directed towards buying essential food items. However, with newfound determination, Eliza's parents initiated a small-scale business of selling rice. This entrepreneurial venture not only provided a sustainable income but also enabled them to pay for Eliza's school fees.

Now, Eliza stands tall in standard 7, a testament to the transformative power of community support and resilience. Her once-diminished dreams have been reignited, and she is now well-prepared to pursue a brighter future through education. This heartening story showcases the impact of collective efforts in empowering communities and ensuring that no child's education is left behind.


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