PUBLIC STATEMENT BY THE BEAUTIFY MALAWI (BEAM)TRUST CLARIFICATION ON MATTERS SORROUNDING
THE VISIT TO PROVIDENCE GIRLS SECONDARY SCHOOL ON 17th MARCH, 2018 BY HER EXCELLENCY PROF. GERTRUDE MUTHARIKA FIRST LADY OF THE REPUBLIC OF MALAWI
ISSUED ON TUESDAY 22nd MARCH, 2018
STATEMENT TO CLARIFY HER EXCELLENCY THE FIRST LADY’S VISIT TO PROVIDENCE SECONDARY SCHOOL ON 17th MARCH, 2018.
The Beautify Malawi Trust (BEAM) is a registered entity working to promote the welfare of Malawians through environmental conservation, advocacy for good sanitation and waste management practices, as well as education support especially for girls, among others.
Her Excellency the First Lady in her own capacity, and in her role as BEAM Patron works closely with all stakeholders in furtherance of her passion to make Malawi a better and a healthier society.
Background to Her Excellency’s Intervention and Support
A formal appeal for assistance was made by the Board of Governors of the School through a letter addressed to Her Excellency the First Lady, Ref: 001/PSS/LJK/2018, dated 5th March 2018 following the fire that gutted a girls’ hostel block and destroyed considerable amount of property at Providence Girls Secondary School.
The letter titled “Appeal for assistance to Re-furbish Burnt Girls Hostel Providence Secondary School” was signed by the Chairman of the Board of Governors and copied to the Headmistress of Providence Secondary School, the Education Coordinator of the Blantyre Archdiocese, The Superior General-SBVM Mary View Generate, His Grace the Archbishop of Blantyre Archdiocese and all Member of the Board.
The letter appealing for support, gave an account of the tragic incident and the extensive damage it caused and the misery it brought to the lives of the affected students.
In the letter of appeal, the school Board also informed Her Excellency that the school is in dire and urgent need of assistance to refurbish the burnt hostel as well as any assistance that could be availed to the school. The refurbishment works were estimated at K35 million Malawi Kwacha
The Appeal went further to decry the fact that 140 students who were affected by the accident were sent home because the burnt hostel was no longer suitable to accommodate them. We were further informed that 40 students lost almost all their personal belongings in the tragedy.
In line with Her passion for education of girls, the First Lady was moved with the plight of the girls and an official from BEAM was immediately dispatched to meet the school management to gather more facts and details that would enable a well-informed intervention as a direct response to the appeal. The meeting took place on 8th March, 2018.
Communication between the two sides continued through other channels in between to update each other on the intended visit by the First Lady, including official site visit by the Department of Public Events as well as another meeting a day before Her Excellency’s visit on 17th March, 2018 which ascertained the needs gap which included the rehabilitation of the burnt hostel.
On the date of the visit on 17th March, 2017 at 2pm, during a tour of the burnt hostel, Her Excellency the First Lady was informed that no one had come up with an offer to rehabilitate the hostel.
BEAM therefore mobilized the support that was in line with the information furnished by the school management. It was our intention to renovate the hostel based on this call for assistance to ensure that lives of girls at the school get back to normal as soon as possible in line with our objectives as stipulated by the First Lady in her speech during the event.
BEAM had already identified a contractor to come on site after Her Excellency’s visit to make further assessments and begin work immediately.
We want to emphasise that Her excellency’s intervention was out of compassion for the girls’ and the school’s tragic loss of valuable property and her deep passion for the education of the girls in the country.
On Her visit on 17th March, 2017, Her Excellency the First Lady brought 40 bags of cement in readiness of the rehabilitation works of the hostel by BEAM and other essential items meant to cushion the immediate needs of the affected girls based on the priority list furnished by the school management during preparatory meetings.
Her Excellency the First Lady and Beautify Malawi Trust remain committed to the promotion of girls’ education in the country through provision of bursaries, construction of girls’ hostels and bringing back our girls to school. It is the wish and mission of our Patron Her Excellency Prof. Gertrude Mutharika that every girl attends and remain in school.
God Bless Malawi
TRUSTEE-Beautify Malawi (BEAM)Trust