Grace Girl Child Student
This is Grace Chipofya (17), from Mchengautuwa. She scored 23 points in her final exams at secondary school, often holding position two in her class. With results like that, she is hoping to study nursing at University.
Grace is the second born in her family. She has five siblings – two brothers and three sisters. Originally the family lived in Rumphi district, but her Father needed to move to Mchengautuwa for work.
The new house did not have a plot for growing crops, and when her Father lost his job, what little money they had went on renting a plot on someone else’s land to feed the family. He could no longer afford to pay Grace’s school fees.
Grace’s older brother had already finished school before their Father lost his job, and it looked like Grace would not get the same chances he did.
Grace’s teacher in form Two, at Chibavi secondary school, advised her of Wells for Zoë. After being interviewing by Florence, co-ordinator of the Wells for Zoë Girl Child Project, it was decided that Grace needed assistance in order to continue her education and to progress to form Three.
Wells for Zoë paid her school fees for the next two forms. Now, here she is. An accomplished young scholar and better prepared for where life takes her next.
Even with results like this, dreams of nursing may or may not be within reach for the most capable of girls due the prohibitive nature of the costs involved.
No matter what is next though, there is no doubt that through completing secondary school Grace has become a stronger woman – better able lead and motivate other girls, better able to feed and educate a future family, and most importantly better equipped with skills to sustain herself, which may prevent early marriage and the lifetime of hardships it often brings.