By Chisomo Phiri

After noticing that many children in Chikwawa district lack pair of shoes to protect them from heat and germs that enter them through soles, the Development Initiative Network ( DIN) Malawi a Chikwawa based organization has embarked on an Initiative called uniform dress up initiative aims at distributing shoes and uniforms to vulnerable children in the district for them to attend school.

On Wednesday, the organization distributed  uniforms and pairs of shoes to 39 vulnerable learners  who were not attending the classes due to lack of school uniforms and shoes at Dyeratu primary school in the district.

Speaking when presenting the donation, the Executive Director for DIM Malawi Anderson Billiat said the shoes and uniforms will help the 39 most vulnerable learners at the school who were not able to attend classes due to lack of school uniforms to attend the classes hence promoting quality education for all.

” We organised the assessment week to find out why many learners who are coming from not well to do families are not attending the classes. We found that the  lack of school uniforms was challenge as some of them were sent back home for not wearing school uniforms and some complaining of suffering from strange diseases after germs enter as they walk bear footed. This why we have embarked on this initiative so as to rescue them from this challenge”, Said Billiat.

Billiat also said the initiative is expected to benefit many learners in all public primary schools in Chikwawa district with an aim to promote quality education and end early marriages that come after children are not going to school.

the 39 most vulnerable learners at the school who were not able to attend classes due to lack of school uniforms to attend the classes hence promoting quality education for all.

” We organised the assessment week to find out why many learners who are coming from not well to do families are not attending the classes. We found that the  lack of school uniforms was challenge as some of them were sent back home for not wearing school uniforms and some complaining of suffering from strange diseases after germs enter as they walk bear footed. This why we have embarked on this initiative so as to rescue them from this challenge”, Said Billiat.

Billiat also said the initiative is expected to benefit many learners in all public primary schools in Chikwawa district with an aim to promote quality education and end early marriages that come after children are not going to school.

” At some we have not to blame the children why engaging in early marriages.If they are not going to school, what else can they do, they find marriage  a solution. So at DIN we believe that if we give the  children what can enable them to go to school, we are also ending early marriages.

” This initiative is planned to reach out many vulnerable learners in all public primary schools of Chikwawa district and this is just a beginning” Promised Billiat.

Receiving his school uniform and a pair of shoes Chikondi Banda who is in standard 3 at the school thanked DIM Malawi for the donation saying this will now help them to attend classes without being sent back home by teachers for not wearing school uniforms and pledged the continuation of the initiative and read out many who are lacking the same

” For real it was hard for us to attend classes as we were sent back home by teachers for not wearing school uniforms. Now with these

shoes and school uniforms will be able to attend the classes and achieve our dreams” Said Chikondi.

In his words, the headteacher for Dyeratu Primary School also thanked DIN Malawi for such a great inititive take place at his school saying such a  recognition is a blessing. He said the donation has come in time as they were registering low enrollment and high absenteeism and drop out rates due to the challenge of lack of school uniforms and school shoes among many learners who are most vulnerable can’t buy school uniforms.

” Many learners were not attending classes and this contributed to registering low enrollment, class attendances and high school drop out rates which is not good as it comes to quality education. Now with support we have hope to register high enrollment as many will be able to attend the classes with the uniforms”, He explained.

Development Initiative Network ( DIN) Malawi is a Non-governmental organization( NGO) working to create lasting change in vulnerable communities in the Chikwawa district of Malawi. It’s main objectives are centered on promoting health and wash standards through the provision of water, sanitation and hygiene resources establishment of home based care commitees  and training of community health workers in HIV / and safe motherhood programs just to mention a few.

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