Car dealing agents Mike Appel and Gatto Limited on Saturday donated 5 550 balls to 56 primary schools in Chikala Education Zone in Zomba.
The beneficiary schools also have partnership with Save the Children in Traditional Authority (T/A) Chikowi in the district. Apart from the Chevrolet-branded balls, trophies for football and netball tournaments were presented to enable the schools to compete within their zone.
The gesture comes as one way of ensuring that pupils attend school at all times and that school drop-out rate and absenteeism should be reduced. It transpired that there is high drop-out rate and absenteeism in the area, which prompted Mike Appel and Gatto Limited and Save the Children to devise ways of bringing back the children to school.
Speaking during the handover ceremony, Minister of Education Emmanuel Fabiano, who was the guest of honour, hailed the initiative.
“As government, we appreciate the role the two organisations are doing in promoting education through sports. This will make a difference in the lives of the children as it will also promote their welfare and become productive citizens of the country,” he said.
He further highlighted that sports brings several benefits to the players and spectators, namely entertainment, reduced risk of health problems, source of revenue as a career and scholarship opportunities to students with poor backgrounds among others.
In his remarks, Mike Appel and Gatto Limited chief executive officer Nazeer Osman said his firm decided to use the sports project to woo pupils to attend school and be able to play.