Her family sold their only cows so that she could finish her degree

Linvell Chirwa, born 1989, is the seventh born of eight children, her parents were subsistence farmers in the district of Mzimba in North Malawi. She attended Robert Laws secondary school in Embangweni but her parents did not have money for fees and so she was supported by the Mamie Martin Fund from the second term in Form 1 until she finished (2004-2007).

Linvell studied nursing and midwifery at Kamuzu College of Nursing (University of Malawi) and graduated in 2012. She received a government loan for two of the four years there. After that loan stopped she struggled financially and her parents sold their only cows to allow her to complete her degree studies. There is a huge shortage of nurses in Malawi and she started work immediately and is now working as a Nursing Officer in charge of a maternity ward in Lilongwe, Mitundu Community Hospital. She has a staff house in the hospital where she lives with her husband and two children aged 5 and 2.

Eager now to further her studies, Linvell has been offered a place to start a Masters course at Kamuzu College of Nursing in September 2020 but she cannot take that place up without support to pay the fees. At present she is the breadwinner for her own family, her parents and other family members.

As well as helping members of her family, Linvell carries on the Mamie Martin Fund vision by supporting other girls with their education.

Read her full case study here.