Malawi’s First Lady, Professor Gertrude Mutharika said on Friday the K32 million donation Beautify Malawi (BEAM) Trust received from the People’s Republic of China would rescue 100 girls from child marriages.
Mutharika received a cheque donation for K32, 550, 000 from the Peoples Republic of China at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe.
She said the money would assist the girls who had dropped out of school due to early pregnancies.
Mutharika said over 300 needy girls, whose future would have been uncertain, will be given an opportunity to go to school so that the country does not lose them to worthlessness.
“I say this because BEAM believes that education is the most sustainable way of beautifying our country. This is not a small amount, it is a big donation whose impact will be far reaching.
“I am also touched because there is a link between early marriages, early pregnancies and rising of cases of cervical cancer in women. This is why BEAM is taking a holistic approach to fight cervical cancer using education as a tool,” she said.
The donation will also help BEAM Trust to conduct girls’ mentorship conferences with the aim to build their capacity around key role models to give them the inspiration and the much-needed encouragement towards their education.
Mutharika commended the Chinese Embassy for the support it gives to BEAM Trust every year towards the schools’ competition called ‘My Clean School My Pride’ campaign.
She said for the past three years, BEAM has been receiving K21 million each year, but this time around, the donation has been increased to over K32 million which, she said, will add efficiency to the organization’s work.
Peoples Republic of China ambassador Liu Hongyang, who presented the donation to the First Lady, said the gesture shown by BEAM’s activities only shows love and care for the young girls.
He said after hearing what Malawi is doing on the ground, especially for girls, he decided to increase the donation to take back the girls to school for education.
“I read the background of BEAM in some newspapers in Malawi, I know the growing dropout rate of school ranks 9th in Southern part of Africa and in Eastern part of Africa.
“In the population of Malawi, there are 47 per cent of young girls who drop out of school for various reasons and particularly, for early marriages,” said Hongyang.