Meet our students

Amadu Bwanali

Amadu Bwanali is now at University, this is his story.

”I live in Kasalika village. I am the third born in a family of four. When I was young my mother earned a living selling bananas…and my father used to sell dried fish. My mother died in 1993 and later on my younger brother died too, leaving my two sisters and me. My father was nowhere to be seen after divorcing my mother two years before she died. My grandmother took over the care of my two sisters and me, but life was not good as my grandmother was old and weak.

My sisters and I used to cultivate other peoples gardens to get food for the family. We often washed our clothes and hid in the house until they were dry [the family did not have a change of clothing] Our relatives boycotted us claiming that they had their own children to support.

At the time I was in Standard 1. Most times we spent the day without food. Our house was thatched with grass…sometimes we spent the night [huddled] in the corner to avoid getting wet, since the roof was leaking.

However this did not force me to despair, but encouraged me to work extra hard at school.

In 1997 my father died too, I had completed my primary school and was selected to continue my studies at Luchenza CDS School. However this posed another challenge for my future as there was nobody who could pay my school fees at secondary school. I spent two terms at home due to unavailability of school fees. This happened five years after my sisters had dropped out of school.

With tears almost falling my weak grandmother advised me to sell our only two goats to pay for the school fees. By that time I had only one pair of trousers and two shirts.

In 2003 I applied for a bursary at Fochta and my application was accepted. I completed my secondary education in 2005.

It’s my ambition to help others through Fochta or outside Fochta.”

Kondwani Biton

In early December 2009, Kondwani Biton, a FOCHTA beneficiary, completed a vocational course in motor vehicle mechanics at the Malawi Children’s Village Technical College. He has been helping the FOCHTA office in Thyolo, service their car. This is what he had to say in a recent email:

”Allow me to appreciate for giving me a helping hand in both secondary and tertiary education. I understand it was not simple for you to do such a thing to me but because of your hardworking spirit, I have reached this stage. Once again allow me to say thanks. I hope and believe that you are going to do the same thing for my fellow beneficiaries and other needy students.”

Christopher Lawrence

Christopher Lawrence, aged 21, lives in Thyolo with his adopted mother and her family of seven children. He lost his mother at a young age and was then taken care of by his grandparents. Christopher was sponsored by FOCHTA to complete forms 1 to 4. He has now graduated from secondary school and has been working for FOCHTA as a casual staff member since April 2007.

Beatrice Sikelo

Beatrice Sikelo, aged 13, is in Form 1 at Mikombe Community Day Secondary School. She has been a FOCHTA beneficiary since January 2010.

Beatrice’s father died when she was very young and she lives with her mother who is a subsistence farmer.

Her dream is to become a medical doctor so that she can help the sick in her community. However, Beatrice says her dream might not be realised because of the challenges her school faces: her class has 75 students, the school has insufficient books and it takes her several hours to walk to school.

Beatrice is extremely grateful to FOCHTA for introducing the Girls Tutorial Program. She promises to work hard in class and asks FOCHTA to continue sponsoring her and other students.

Dyna Mphanje

Dyna Mphanje was orphaned when she was three years old. Now 17, she and her brother and sister live with their aunt and cousin.

Dyna finished secondary school at Providence Secondary School in 2009 and will sit for university entrance exams in April 2010. Fochta has been supporting her since 2006.

In the past months Dyna has picked up computer skills while visiting the FOCHTA office. She has shown such proficiency as to be able to teach what she has learnt to a group of senior students three times a week.

At home she helps her aunt grow food crops such as maize.

Dyna aspires to be a nurse so that she can help the sick in her community and pay for her brother to attend secondary school.

Dyna is thankful to FOCHTA for its support towards her education at secondary school and hopes the organisation can continue to assist needy children.

Her advice to fellow girls is that they should work hard at school in order to secure a brighter future.