The Malawi University of Science and Technology (Must) has partnered Blantyre Sports Club (BSC) in a fundraising golf tournament to raise at least K250 million for needy students on September 16.
The university’s deputy vice-chancellor Jonathan Makuwira said the funds to be generated will help at least 50 students that either withdrew or are at risk of withdrawing from the institution due to financial contraints.
Dubbed ‘Come Back and Don’t Drop Off’ tournament, the two-ball-better-ball formatted event is expected to have the Vice- President Saulos Chilima as the guest of honour, who will not only tee-off, but also compete.
“We have about 50 students that need immediate support towards their fees and upkeep with an estimation of K5 million per student for their entire stay on campus, from first to final year, translating to a total of K250 million. This is the amount we expect to raise with the support of our partners,” Makuwira said during a press conference.
He said Must has over the years come up with several initiatives, including the launch of the Must Endowment Fund in 2021, which will only start supporting students from 2024 as the money collected was first invested and matures after three years.
Said Makuwira: “The university has students who are lacking fees today and cannot wait until next year. Many students withdraw every year and others are at the risk of withdrawing.
“Even some of those that pay fees struggle to meet their upkeep needs and it is not uncommon to see students going to bed and class on an empty stomach.”
Must dean of students affairs Kondwani Mkandawire called on partners, institutions and individuals of goodwill to join and support them through donations of any amounts, participating in the golf tournament and sponsoring some teams.
He said the team sponsorships have been categorised into gold, silver, bronze, zinc, copper and individual.
“For instance, gold sponsors are supposed to inject a minimum of K10 million and will be privileged to play and sit on the same table with the Vice-President. They will also brand holes one and 18 plus any other place on the golf course,” Mkandawire said.
One of the needy students Willy Kamangira, who withdrew before completing second year of his studies two years ago, said Must’s initiative has revived his hope of completing terciary studies.
The 29-year-old said in a telephone interview yesterday that since he dropped out, he has been staying with his parents in Kasiya, Lilongwe where they survive on subsistence farming.
“My parents could not afford to pay for my tuition fees and I had no choice, but to withdraw. However, with this intiative, my hopes of returning to college have been revived,” he said.
Must Students Union president Alexander Kude described the charity golf as an opportunity to restore hope for the needy students.