Women of Purpose Foundation Programs in Malawi, Africa
It is WOPF vision to establish a platform for Malawian girls and women to receive the necessary education and training and business skills required to become self-sufficient. With this in mind, WOPF prioritizes education in its programs. Below are some of the programs that WOPF has conducted in Malawi.
Emergency Shelter and Support
- Flood Humanitarian Response
In 2015 Malawi saw the worst floods in history caused by heavy rains. The floods affected 15 districts mainly those in the lower shire and along the lake shore. The president of Malawi declared the 15 district affected as state of disaster districts needing humanitarian support in almost all areas, as a lot of people were displaced and were being kept at evacuation camps.
Women of Purpose Foundation (WOPF was among the first organisations that responded to the president’s call to assist those affected. Districts that were visited and assisted by WOPF are Chikwawa and Salima. In Chikwawa a total number of 100 children received Likuni phala, (fortified porridge) water guard (chlorine based water purifier), as well as blankets and clothes.
In Salima relief items from WOPF were channeled to Mmanga Group Village headman who has three other villages, in the area of T/A Pemba and 35 households benefited from the following items; Likuni phala, water guard, Blankets, Clothes, kitchen utensil, washing soap. These items were distributed to the beneficiaries with the help of the personnel from the District Assembly, Red Cross, and Village chiefs of the affected villages at the camps.
WOPF Scholarship Fund - Every Girl in School Program
The program was launched in 2015 and is still running to date. The program was done in collaboration with Kalondolondo a Department of Plan Malawi (under Plan International). Kalondolondo does assessments on public service delivery and in this area, the education sector, their assessments centered on the plight of girls in self boarding schools. As education especially for girls is one of the prime areas of concentration for WOPF, we requested the findings of the assessments and these were provided. As a pilot project Malingunde Day Secondary School, in Lilongwe was chosen. 10 girls were chosen to benefit from this program, however there are still a lot of needy girls at the school. All of girls chosen came from very poor households but were star performers in their classes.
The scholarships comprises of school fees, pocket money, maize and accommodation and school uniforms.
The girls also benefit from counselling sessions offered by psycho-social counsellors from WOPF and we plan to extend the scholarship program to Kasungu, Mphomwe Community Day secondary school as it has similar challenges as Malingunde Community Day secondary School.
- KAZIWA PRIMARY SCHOOL
Kaziwa full primary school (Kaziwa F.P. Sch) is situated approximately 54km from the MI road, to the west of Kasungu Town. The school is under the jurisdiction of Ntukule Village Headman, T/A Kawamba, in Kasungu District.
The school has standard (STD) one (1) up to standard eight (8). It has a total enrollment of five hundred and ninety pupils (590) of which two hundred and eighty (280) are boys and three hundred and ten (310) are girls. The school has only four (4) classrooms housed in two blocks and the rest use grass shacks as classes and under the trees, which are a safety hazard to the children. There are a total number of eight (8) teachers including the Head teacher, of which two are female and the remaining are male.
Unlike most schools in Malawi, Kaziwa F.P.sch has more female students compared to male students. There is an even high enrollment of girls in upper classes (STD, 5, 6, 7 and 8) than that of boys in the same classes. This is a very good and welcoming development to Women of Purpose Foundation (WOPF), as one of our priority programmes is ensuring that girls are educated. However, there are numerous challenges that these girls are facing on their quest to attain education. Most parents do not encourage girls to go to school. They instead offer early marriages especially to the orphaned girls as they believe that if they get married they can then look after their siblings of which some risk contracting HIV and other complications associated with early child birth such as Fistula which is very common here in Malawi.
The school has a registered number of 39 orphans as of now and there is high absenteeism in these orphans as compared to their friends with parental care.
Women of purpose Foundation has had quarterly visits to the school to give talks to the pupils, follow up on orphaned children and those living with HIV and AIDS, they are given food supplements, clothing, school bags, books, pencils and psycho-social support.
- NJEWA ORPHANS PROGRAM
Njewa is a village situated approximately 10km from Lilongwe Town, it is surrounded by manufacturing industries. This being the case there is high level of prostitution as well as alcohol abuse, these risky behaviours increases cases of HIV/Aids in the area and number of orphaned children. As the children are most of the times left without any carer, girls mostly resort to prostitution in order to fend for their siblings and boys most of the times go to town to beg in the streets, thereby missing out on classes. This in the end becomes a vicious cycle.
WOPF in consultation with the Head teacher of Njewa Primary School and the School Parent/Teacher Association as well as the village Headman, supports the orphaned children with school requirements, food, as well counselling.
WOPF has also initiated that girls who had previously dropped out of school after being pregnant return to school. These girls are provided with counselling and life coaching sessions and provision of other school materials.
2 acres of personal-owned, debt free land was donated to WOPF by our Founder, Apostle Debbie Viggs. Our plans are to build a healing and feeding center, as well as some flats/apartments which would generate income for the services we intend to provide to the community in Njewa village.