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First Lady launches life booklet to inspire girls

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Agnes NyaLonje

First Lady Monica Chakwera Thursday launched a life story booklet and video documentary aimed at igniting hope in girls.

The booklet preaches, among other things, that coming from a poor background is not an excuse for academic failure.

The booklet has been designed and customised for children, targeting those in rural areas, and underscores the unlimited potential of the girl-child amid challenges they face to access education services.

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Chakwera said it was her desire that girls would remain in school as education is the key to socio-economic development.

“It is my desire that this story will give hope to the girls of this great nation, especially those struggling to make it every single day of their lives, and to those coming from disadvantaged families.

“I pray that they will be empowered to realise their dreams without giving up to fate, which renders them vulnerable,” she said.

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Chakwera said the booklet would influence custodians of culture to promote girls’ education in communities.

With support from Plan International Malawi, the booklet narrates how the First Lady managed to attain education with family members’ support.

Plan International Malawi Country Director Phoebe Kasoga said they had ensured that the production was not politicised to sustain its relevance.

She stressed the need for collective efforts to address challenges such as poverty, which is one of the factors thwarting girls’ efforts to meet education goals.

“Documenting this story is a typical testament that dreams can be achieved. The circumstances that they [girls] are facing today are not permanent. If you have a dream and you keep it alive, someday you will realise it,” she said

Education Minister Agnes NyaLonje said her ministry would use the booklet as a case study to inspire girls to remain in school.

“This book can also work at the community level. With this book, men have to be engaged more than before, systematically, to make sure that they are also fully engaged in educating the girl-child.

“The book can also work wherever the story of the girl-child can be told,” NyaLonje said.

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