The Soko fund continues to value and learn from its partnership with the Mamie Martin Fund-which is now five years old, and thriving! Soko Fund currently provides scholarships to 7 former MMF girls, so that they can study for vocational degrees in Malawi. Each scholarship meets the cost of fees for the whole of their four year degree programme, as well as a small personal allowance to cover internet access costs, books, and sometimes, travel and even food costs. The current group are studying subjects ranging from Soil Science, through Education, Accountancy and Agribusiness, to Nursing and midwifery. After graduation these young women will be eligible to join the Soko Graduate association which provides support into employment, through workshops, support networks, and internships.
MMF shared our delight when we heard that Hannah Dickens, a 1st year student in accountancy at the Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences, has been awarded a Certificate of Achievement for “outstanding performance in academic excellence” in the 2021 round of awards made by Total Energies Malawi. At school, Hannah was assisted by the Mamie Martin Fund, and nominated by them for a Soko Scholarship. She is just one more example that proves beyond doubt that with financial support from organizations like the Soko Fund and the Mamie Martin Fund, Malawi’s young women can raise their aspirations and accomplish great things.
It has, of course, been a particularly difficult year for Universities and students in Malawi. After a long period of closure, all have reopened- but at different times and with different patterns of blended learning. Students have had to rely even more than before on internet learning, and face many additional practical as well as cost challenges. But they have shown once again remarkable resilience and creativity, and the MMF 7 continue to progress towards graduation. We wish them well!