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The United Nation Children’s Fund (Unicef) and New Finance Bank (NFB) on Wednesday launched a joint fundraising campaign towards a newly-formed Girls Secondary Education Trust Fund.

The fund has been set up to allow vulnerable students access secondary education.

Students march to mark the commemoration of the event

In his remarks, Unicef country representative Johannes Wedenig urged well wishers to support the initiative.

He said although Malawi will from next year abolish secondary school tuition, there will still be expenses that require financing for girls to remain in school.

Said Wedenig: “We are helping to build a Malawi where all children can realise their full potential.

“The funds raised will be used to pay for school expenses as well as school uniforms, school bags, sanitary pads and stationery.”

In her remarks, deputy director in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology Ruth Kambali said in Malawi, rates of secondary completion for girls remain low and the prevalence of early childbearing remain high.

She said Malawi has one of the highest rates of child marriages in the world with 10.3 percent of girls married by 15 years.

Through the trust, Unicef and NFB will mobilise financial and technical resources to help academically successful pupils from poor backgrounds complete their secondary education.

Currently, government has 6 143 girls on bursary but hopes to support 18 000 girls with the fund.

During the launch, NFB contributed K2 million towards the initiative.

 

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