Hannah was an MMF beneficiary at Elangeni Secondary School from 2011 to 2015. Her parents had divorced, her father remarried with new responsibilities and Hannah’s mother could not afford her school fees. The school put Hannah on the MMF list and, with her worries gone, she worked hard and obtained excellent results in her Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE).
Hannah now is in her final year at the University of Malawi studying BSc in accounting with sponsorship from the Soko Fund. She has dreamed of working as an accountant since she was in Level 5 in primary school. She has always loved solving financial issues and therefore, thinks accounting and she are perfectly suited for one another. She believes that her career will shape her to have wide knowledge in fund management which will be a tool that she will use in giving skills to young Malawian women on how to manage their finances in setting up small scale businesses that would allow them to do their own thing rather than depend on government for employment.
Both MMF and Soko are so proud to learn that Hannah has been awarded a Certificate of Achievement for “outstanding performance in academic excellence” in the 2021 round of ‘Best Student Awards’ made annually by TotalEnergies Malawi, a major company focusing on sustainable energy.
Elangeni Secondary School is one of the schools which we support in Malawi. At a recent Scotland’s International Development Alliance event, we met Amy Blake, the new CEO of Classrooms for Malawi (CFM), who is also a trustee of The Alliance. We discovered that they had built the new classrooms that our trustees saw at Elangeni in October. These buildings are already making a huge difference to the ability of the school to deliver quality education. We are pleased to have this link with an organisation who do capital projects, which we do not, and who have the contacts and skills to do them so well.
Amy is CFM’s first CEO and says this about herself:
“Over the past 20 years I have worked with a range of different size charities and NGOs to help develop income streams and to support strategic direction and operational effectiveness. My most recent role was as Director at the International Voluntary Service (IVS) where I spent three years working with a fabulous team of staff and volunteers all committed to providing volunteer placements linked to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This experience taught me the value of leading an agile, forward thinking team, able to respond quickly to need and in turn, make a lasting difference to those communities that need it most. Prior to IVS, I worked with organisations including The British Red Cross, Capability Scotland and UNICEF.”
We were pleased to be able to record a video with one group of Mamie Martin Fund girls where they spoke about their aspirations. This particular group are ‘Alison Girls’, funded by the Scottish Government as an endowment to honour Alison and Colin Cameron who have contributed so much to Malawi-Scotland relationships over their lifetime.
The video mention of ‘Alison 1’ and ‘Alison 2’ refers to two separate blocks of ‘Alison’ funding – the bursaries are called ‘The Alison Cameron Scholarships’ and the girls are affectionately called ‘The Alison Girls’. They were keen to make this video in order to send their greetings to Alison herself. Hope she enjoys it.
While we are delighted to encourage the girls in their hopes and dreams, it is already a big challenge for them to be in secondary school. It will be an even bigger challenge to find and fund a university course. We are glad of our partnership with the Soko Fund which gives some of these girls access to some bursaries to study at Malawian universities.