One of our key programs is support for youth to attend school and further their education. This has remained one of the most evident needs in the community, and the request we hear most often from families and young people alike.
There are several barriers for youth in Malawi to complete their secondary (high school) education. A lack of infrastructure capacity, as well as large distances to schools are two such barriers. Another large barrier for many students is the cost of attendance. While primary school is free in Malawi, secondary school is not. The added expense of school fees, coupled with associated costs of schooling, often make it impossible for families to pay, leading to a high incidence of school dropout.
In response to these issues, the School Tuition Sponsorship Program became the first of our formal education initiatives and continues to be one of our core programs. The program covers not only school fees but also associated costs, ensuring students have all the materials needed for educational success. Additionally, we offer Extended Learning Programs to sponsored youth, including computer lessons and annual leadership workshops.
Before being accepted into the School Tuition Sponsorship program, students are interviewed to assess their school performance, work ethic, and level of need. When students are accepted, they agree to act in accordance with the academic and behavioral stipulations of the program, including maintaining expected school scores and not engaging in behavior harmful to their health or educational achievement. It is important that non-residential sponsored youth are supported at home, which is why we require parents and guardians to sign an agreement to enforce their youth’s school attendance. Additionally, we hold yearly meetings with guardians to review students’ performance and ensure guardians are working in partnership with our policies for promoting their youth’s academic achievement.
There are many more youth in the community waiting to benefit from the School Tuition Sponsorship Program. Give the gift of education by sponsoring a student.