First, I was given access to the MMF’s internal database which contains information on the students supported. I then carried out Excel data analysis to identify the barriers to education experienced by the MMF’s beneficiaries. I also interviewed the MMF’s trustees and members of staff to increase the depth of my research and examine different approaches aiming to overcome education-barriers. This was combined with literature review in order to explore the education-barriers girls faced in Northern Malawi more broadly, plus the different tactics taken by other Non-Governmental Organisations. The use of both quantitative and qualitative data increased the validity of the conclusions made.
Notably, I found that on-average, 80.62 percent of the MMF-supported students, enrolled between 2014 and 2016, successfully reached and completed Form 4. This figure compares very favourably with the most recent Malawi-wide data about school completion which stood at just 21% in 2013 (UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 2013). I also found the three most requested practical resources by the MMF’s beneficiaries to be: school uniforms and clothing, school bags, and school books.
Many thanks to the MMF for giving me the opportunity to conduct this research. The experience is one I greatly value and I hope my final report is interesting and of some use.
Anna Freidenfeld, University of Edinburgh Student