RiseUp Malawi Scholarship Students
RiseUp Malawi’s core mission is to provide opportunities for youth to obtain their secondary and university educations. We believe that education is a crucial factor in impacting real economic and social change in Malawi. As of 2018, RiseUp Malawi is gratefully supporting 7 students with their secondary (high school) education and 1 student in Teacher’s College. Below are our student’s stories. To read more on the education crisis in Malawi, click here.
Meet Annie Harry
Annie is our newest scholarship student to be attending secondary school. She was chosen after we found out she was walking 12km each way from her village to be a part of our free Youth Entrepreneurship Program. When Annie’s was only 10, her father passed from HIV/AIDS, leaving her mother with 8 young children to care for, no job, and no income. Two of Annie’s siblings were born HIV/AIDS positive and are currently suffering from the disease. Annie helps her family feed themselves by collecting firewood to sell, a process that requires walking long distances and carrying very heavy wood on her back. She often can’t sell enough to help feed the family, so RiseUp Malawi has stepped in with food aid while Annie attends school on scholarship. Her dream is to open a hospital one day to help the sick and needy in her community.
Meet Innocent Brighton
Innocent is another one of RUM’s outstanding scholarship students. As a 16 year old, Innocent has faced numerous challenges already in his young life- he was born with a hand deformity that has prevented him from finding work, he’s had to support his single mother raise his three younger siblings and had to drop out of secondary school because he could not afford the fees. Innocent’s family suffers from very low income and food scarcity. He has spent many days hungry. RiseUp Malawi heard his story and decided to intervene not just with scholarship but with food supply, basic toiletries, a mosquito net and a bike to help ease the 7km distance to and from school everyday that Innocent had been walking prior to dropping out. Innocent dreams of one day being able to provide medical care to people in remote areas of Malawi.
Meet Grace REgina
Grace is RiseUp Malawi’s first ever scholarship recipient. She is 16 years old and comes from a family of poor farmers who live without electricity. She received outstanding marks in primary school and was chosen to attend a prestigious secondary school but her parents had no funds to pay the school fees. Grace was deeply grieved by this and believed that her life had no meaning without education. Read Grace’s full story ->
Meet Kelvin BWANALI
Kelvin is 15 years old, the oldest of 5 children. His father was diagnosed with mental illness in 2012 and is currently estranged from the family. Kelvin’s mother provides for the family through farming, although her yearly harvests are always poor due to her lack of funds to purchase fertilizer. Kelvin is very small for his age, a result of malnutrition growing up that stunted his growth.
In 2016, he was selected to attend Community Day Secondary School but his mother did not have any means of funding his education. She went from house to house asking for help, but this yielded nothing. Fortunately, she met Grace’s father who told her about RiseUp Malawi. He was accepted into the RUM scholarship program and given a bike to commute the 17km to school everyday.
Meet Doreen CHING’ANI
Doreen is 15 years old and lives with both of her parents and three brothers. Her father is a retired soldier who now depends entirely on farming. Once he retired from service, he was not given access to any services or resources. He did not have the means to support Doreen when she was selected to attend secondary school in 2016. He borrowed money from a friend to get Doreen through one term, but then she had to drop out.
When Doreen first reached out to RiseUp Malawi, she showed up in a torn pair of shoes with no school bag or bicycle to cover the 18km distance she had been traveling before she dropped out. Upon seeing her need, Doreen was offered full scholarship to re-enroll, and provided with a proper school uniform, shoes and bag as well as a bicycle to get her to school on time and not exhausted from walking.
Doreen, like many of the other students, wants to go to college for medicine to assist the sick in her community. She is also passionate about helping future students who struggle with education due to a lack of economic means.
Meet Sella Kachingwe
Sella was the first born of a family of five. Her mother is a single mother who relies on small scale subsistence farming to feed the family. Sella and her siblings often faced food scarcity growing up when rain dependent crops ceased to grow during dry spells. Her mother was too poor to buy food in the absence of crops.
Sella managed to finish secondary school with the support of another organization. However, that support ended when she finished and she did not have access to any other funds to continue her education.
Sella became the first RUM beneficiary to receive scholarship for university. She joined our YEP Program to help teach the younger children and when she expressed her interest in attending a teacher’s college, we decided to grant her scholarship. She’s especially passionate about children who drop out of school due to child marriages or early pregnancies.
Meet CHRISTINA MWALE
Christina is the first born daughter of RiseUp Malawi’s in-country Program Director Hudson Mwale. When she was 6, her mother abandoned the family, taking all the household goods including pots and pans and bedding. Not only did Christina lose the critical love of a mother, but this abandonment forced her into taking on responsibility at the very young age of 6 for preparing food for herself and her younger sister Beatrice when their father was at work. Although her father has remarried a caring wife who is now Christina’s beautiful foster mother, the income from her father’s business was not enough to provide basic needs like clothes, food & security.
In September 2018 Christina wrote her Primary School Leaving Certificate exams and when the results were out, she was selected to secondary school. Though this was good news as she knew that her father could not afford to pay her school fees and all school supplies with his monthly salary.
Christina was chosen as a RUM scholarship recipient and gifted with a bicycle to commute the 7km to and from school. She dreams of becoming a nurse to assist vulnerable youths, the elderly and widows in her community who lack basic social and health services.
Meet Patrick Beyard
Patrick was born on May 25, 1999 and is the youngest of six. When he was just 2 years old, his father died of dysentery leaving his mother to fend for 6 children. His mother suffers from cataracts, a common problem in Malawi because most people cannot afford sunglasses to protect their eyes from the sun. She supports her family on a meager income from selling bananas that she grows in her yard. Patrick was the only one of his siblings to complete primary school education- the other siblings entered into child marriages, another common occurrence in Malawi that has the 11th highest rate of child marriages in the world.
Unfortunately Patrick was unable to pay the school fees to continue on in secondary school. In 2018 he heard about RUM through another one of our scholarship students, Annie Harry. He started attending our YEP program to take computer lessons and joined in on our newly launched music program. We witnessed his eagerness to learn during our 2018 program trip and shortly after offered him scholarship to continue his studies. He now attends Hillside Secondary School and has a bicycle to help him cover the long distance to school.
Patrick dreams of finding a way to serve the vulnerable one day, be it through a career in the medical field or in getting the voices of the underserved heard through journalism.
Meet Patricia Mphande
Patricia was born on May 8th, 2001 and is the only girl from a family of five children. When she was about 10 years old, Patricia’s father, who was a fish trader, lost his life to malaria because he did not have a net to protect himself. When her father died the family struggled to put food on the table because he was the one who provided most of the food. Her mother is a seasonal farmer.
Patricia has been attending our YEP program since she was in her final year of primary school and in 2018 became a leader in our music program. Although she completed her secondary education through sponsorship from another organization, she did not receive the grades necessary to apply to university. RUM decided to give Patricia a second chance to go back to school after she exhibited such strong leadership skills in our other programs.
Patricia is re-doing her secondary school now at Hillside. Patricia is doing her secondary school at Hillside. She dreams of one day helping with infrastructure development in her community and wants to study civil architecture. Specifically, she wants to be able to design houses in her community.
Meet Esther Wyson
Esther was born on February 18th, 2004 and is the youngest of six siblings. Esther’s father left her mother while she was pregnant with Esther because he had wanted to take a second wife and Esther’s mother refused to be in a polygamous marriage. Shortly after leaving her, he passed away from unknown causes.
Hardship fell upon her mother when her father left her to raise 5 children while pregnant. She struggled to find work and when she finally did find a job fetching water and washing clothes for other people, the earnings were not enough to support the whole family, let alone a newborn. On top of it all, many people in her community accused her of becoming pregnant out of wedlock and did not want to help her. Esther’s mother eventually became a subsistence farmer, but still struggled to send her kids off to school on a full stomach. Esther often attended primary school not having eaten breakfast. Most of the time her siblings and her would have to get by on just one small meal a day.
Because of Esther’s need she was chosen to receive scholarship from RUM to continue her education. Esther dreams of one day becoming a nurse to save lives in her community where there is a lack of health professionals.