In honor of Women’s Week here at D2D, the female staff members took the primary and secondary school Girl’s Club’s on a field trip to the University of Livingstonia. Over fifty-five girls endured the three-hour hike up to Livingstonia and all the way back down in just one day! Even more than that, they managed to carry all the equipment and food needed to prepare lunch for everyone that afternoon up with them. For nearly all the girls, it was their first time to climb the long trail to the University, providing never before seen views of Malawi’s beautiful, bright green landscapes surrounding its lake.
There were only a few times on the way up when the girls needed a short break after taking some of the steeper “shortcut” routes. Otherwise, each one had plenty of strength and energy to undergo the journey and remained in high spirits the entire time. After stopping to cook and enjoy lunch together, the group arrived at Livingstonia by two o’ clock. The first stop was getting to see the historic church founded by Dr. David Livingstone, a huge highlight for all the girls. Afterwards, everyone proceeded to the campus where two female students were waiting for the group.
Lisa Musekele and Sauwkile Msuku are both in their second year at the University of Livingstonia. Lisa studies computer engineering while Sauwkile studies education ICT. The young women led the girls on a tour all throughout campus, showing them the different halls, laboratories, classrooms, library and so forth. They also spoke to the girls about all the programs the University offers and how working hard in school and placing their studies first could grant each of them the chance to attend there in the future. After the tour and motivational talks from Lisa and Sauwkile ended, it was finally time to start heading home.
Having started the journey back to the bottom a lot later than planned, everyone had to move MUCH faster going down compared to the speed taken going up. With some sprinting while others jogged, the group ended up getting split into three smaller groups. The third group reached the bottom just moments after the sun had set and darkness took over, rejoining the others to celebrate a long and successful day. When the girls were asked what their favorite part of the field trip was, many answered that it was getting to see just how many female students there were at Livingstonia, and how beautiful and confident they all looked, aspiring to be in their place one day. Though staff members were exhausted the following day, it was well worth it after witnessing how meaningful the experience was for all the girls and how inspired they were by it overall.