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Standard Bank initiative to develop women leaders

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Standard Bank is on Wednesday launching a girl mentorship programme with the United Nations Children’s Education Fund (Unicef) aiming to encourage girls to continue with education.

The launch at N’thulu Primary School in Dedza will see the Standard Bank Chief Financial Officer, Temwani Simwaka, leading other Standard Bank women leaders in the mentorship programme targeting girls aged 8-15 in three districts of Dedza, Salima, Machinga and selected youth drop-in centres.

Simwaka said the bank has turned to its female employees who are in leadership positions to act as role models in the mentorship programme for the girls.

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“Standard Bank as an equal-opportunity employer has many young women in leadership positions and we would like them to be the role models for this programme, which is one of our major Corporate Social Responsibility undertaking this year. These women bankers will instil a positive ‘can-do’ attitude in the girls so that they build confidence to succeed,” she said.

Simwaka said the mentorship programme will cover three key areas of career development, financial literacy and tips for avoiding early marriages.

The programme follows the signing of a partnership agreement between the bank and Unicef in April.

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“We have a deep pool of talented female employees who are experts in various fields and they will take turns to mentor the girls. Through this direct approach, we hope our girls will be motivated to remain in school and aim high in life,” said Simwaka.

In April, Unicef Malawi Deputy Resident Representative, Roisin De Burca, hailed Standard Bank for contributing towards the fight of keeping young girls in school

The programme targets girls from Standard 5 to 8 in 79 primary schools.

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