Funo Langa: giving children the gift of education this Christmas

UNICEF, NFB, Government of Malawi in fundraising campaign for secondary education

05 December 2018
UNICEF Scholarship recipient Rita Ngwira in class at Namwera Secondary School
UNICEF Malawi/2018/Eldson Chagara
UNICEF Scholarship recipient Rita Ngwira in class at Namwera Secondary School.

Blantyre, 5 December 2018 – UNICEF, New Finance Bank (NFB) and the Government of Malawi have launched Funo Langa (My Wish), a fundraising campaign for secondary education. The aim is to provide bursaries for academically successful students from poor backgrounds, to enable them to finish school.

The resources will be channeled through the Girls Secondary Education Trust, which brings together existing bursaries provided by UNICEF, CAMFED, AGE Africa, Press Trust, the Government and others. These bursaries cover full school fees as well as school uniforms, school bags, sanitary pads and stationery.

The Girls Secondary Education Trust was set up to give vulnerable students, particularly girls, a chance for a brighter future. The Funo Langa campaign gives Malawian companies, expatriates and ordinary citizens the chance to donate. A donation of 125,000 kwacha can fund a child through one year of secondary education.

"The Trust Fund brings together existing scholarship schemes, including UNICEF’s, to ensure we are more efficient in reaching all children in need of support to get a secondary education,” said UNICEF Malawi Representative Johannes Wedenig. “Funo Langa is an innovative way of opening up the Trust Fund to ordinary Malawians, both in country and overseas, who are looking for a way to give something back to society."

“Funo Langa is a platform for recognizing and celebrating our collective efforts in education and an amazing opportunity for the future. I applaud NFB for being the first among the corporates to heed to the call to support secondary education in Malawi and I urge all corporates and individuals to do the same,” said Minister of Education, Science and Technology Bright Msaka, SC.

In its engagement with the private sector, UNICEF Malawi has promoted the Girls Secondary Education Trust as one way that businesses in Malawi can support the secondary education of vulnerable girls in the country.

As a result of this, NFB and UNICEF signed a partnership agreement, including to jointly develop the Funo Langa campaign in support of the Trust.

"The campaign not only targets corporates in Malawi but also individuals, asking each and every Malawian with the means to support children in Malawi get a quality secondary education,” said Ms Zandile Shaba, CEO of NFB. “Funo Langa will also reach out to Malawians in the diaspora who want to give back to their country and contribute to Malawi’s future."

The Trust builds upon the substantial success of existing scholarship schemes. One of the girls to benefit from a UNICEF bursary is Sarah Mvula, 18, who is now studying Medicine at Shandong University in China.

To find out how to donate click this link:

Note to editors

UNICEF currently provides scholarships to 5585 girls in secondary schools across the country. See some of their stories here  

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