Ethanol Company (EthCo), a subsidiary of conglomerate Press Corporation plc has supported girls education at Majiga Community Day Secondary School in Dwangwa, Nkhotakota by donating K31 million through tuition fees, sponsorship and completion of a school block under construction.
EthCo Chief Executive Officer Lusubilo Chakaniza, accompanied by Press Corporation plc Acting Chief Executive Officer Lyton Chithambo handed over two cheques, one worth K20 million to carter for tuition fees for 20 girls for four years and another one worth K11 million for the completion of a school block.
Chakaniza said the initiative is part of EthCo’s Creation of Shared Value (CSV) policy to support girls’ education.
“We believe that we are creating shared value in society, and that this creation of shared value is not just for infrastructure, but we are also looking at sustainability in terms of the development of our people. So, one of our pillars of the CSV policy is education and this year we decided to focus on that. When we came here for a tree planting exercise we noted the need for completion of a school block which we thought we could help out with,” said Chakaniza.
She further said the company used the opportunity to re-launch a coaching and mentoring program at the school after failing to implement it in 2019 due to Covid-19.
“We noticed that there is a gap in the company in terms of gender balance. Our company is highly male-dominated, it’s a stem environment, and we thought we should launch a program that will sponsor girls and encourage them to pursue careers in the stem environment as part of our coaching and mentoring program,” explained Chakaniza.
She was however quick to note that the mentorship sessions will not only focus on girls, but boys as well.
“We want the students to be properly guided in their careers. In future, we will also consider sponsoring boys boarding, but this time we came for girls because this school only offers such to girls only,” she said.
A student representative, Caroline Zakariya commended EthCo for the support saying girls from around the area face a lot of challenges to travel to school.
“Most of us come from far away areas and we use bicycles. We reach here tired, it’s worse in the rainy season. The support for our boarding will therefore help to give us ample time to study as we have these obstacles eliminated by EthCo,” said the 17-year-old form four girl.
Majiga Primary School Headteacher Harriet Kayira said the school has five school blocks for 400 students, half of which are girls.
“We thank EthCo because now we will be able to have two classes in a block,” Kayira said.
Guest of Honour at the event, Nkhotakota District Education Manager, Getrude Chipeta said more girls need support in the district, and therefore appealed to EthCo to extend their hands to other facilities.
She then asked the school and the girls to utilise the opportunity by making good use of it.
Apart from the tuition fees, the K20 million will also cater for the girl’s other boarding needs at the school.
EthCo is working in partnership with Girls Education Trust.