By Franco Mwachande Jnr.
Girls from Chambe Secondary School in Traditional Authority Mkanda of Mulanje district have been urged to focus on their education and harness creativity by developing writing skills to become responsible citizens who can freely express themselves.
The call came when Othaharhako Foundation, an organization that aims at improving lives of poor people in rural areas, presented awards to star performing girls during an essay competition on Girl Empowerment Project.
The foundation’s founder and Executive Director, Ida Puliwa Mwango, said her organization decided to organize the competition to encourage girls to fight for their rights through writing.
“Actually, we have witnessed that many girls who fail to express themselves fully, become prone to sexual abuse and eventually succumb to pressure and marry while young. It is in this line of thought that we found it important to develop their creativity for them to be empowered.” Observes she.
Mwango is optimistic that the essay writing competition will also assist in the girls’ academic endeavors.
During this competition, about 80 girls contested and a seventeen-year-old form three girl, Titani Nthwapa, emerged as the overall winner.
“I am humbled to emerge victorious today out of many contestants. I thank my teachers, parents, and friends for encouraging me to take part in this competition and above all my special recognition to the organizers for without them I would not be recognized for the award today. This competition has rekindled my dream of becoming a journalist,” she praised.
By emerging victorious, Titani pocketed K25 000, and some exercise books. Her runner-up, Form 3 student Annie Mthubula went home K18 000 richer whilst Catherine Namanja, a form 4 student, went away with K11 000 for coming third. All the participants were honored with K1 500 each.
In his remarks, Chambe Secondary School Deputy Headteacher, Peter Asibu thanked the organization saying the gesture will encourage girls to develop their various skills. He also called upon other stakeholders to borrow image of Othaharhako Foundation.
“This is a move in the right direction. If we’re really serious about uplifting the country’s education, then we’ve to borrow a leaf from Othaharhako Foundation’s gesture.” He said.
Apart from running Girl Empowerment Projects, Othaharhako Foundation also offers palliative care, sustainable agriculture, tailoring school, secondary school and university bursaries to the needy.