Malawi Relief Fund-UK (MRF) and Islamic Zakaat Fund (IZF) have partnered to financially support underprivileged Malawian students in colleges and universities for four years.
According to IZF Chairman Mr Kassam Okhai, the partnership will see IZF implementing a bursary project that will support 224 students enrolled in different colleges and universities in Malawi with full tuition fees and living expenses.
Malawi Relief Fund-UK will invest over MK900 Million over four years, spending over MK 190 Million every year. Last year the organisation started the sponsorship program with 28 students.
The programme is part of Malawi Relief Fund’s Talha Scholarship launched in memory of Talha Valli who tragically died in 2017.
Mr Okhai said he is happy with the partnership that will help Malawians from poor families to access higher education.
“This partnership demonstrates how vital IZF is towards transforming the lives of underprivileged students by using its vast expertise to implement bursaries. The key outcome from this programme is that with the funding security through MRF, we will ensure that the retention rates amongst students is improved,” he said.
Coordinator of Malawi Relief Fund-UK Yakubu Adam Valli said the new project is centered on increasing access to higher education through the scholarship fund, improving equity by encouraging women to enroll for higher education programmes and increasing the relevance by supporting students in enrolling for meaningful programmes likely to lead to lucrative employment hence supporting the economy.
“The project will also instill spiritual, moral values and leadership skills amongst students and encourage social responsibility through engaging in social and community programmes during students’ spare time whilst pursuing their studies,” he said.
Mr Valli added that it is an exciting programme which will give hundreds of students an opportunity to complete their higher education and contribute to the country’s economic growth, competitiveness and social development.
Said Mr Valli: “The increase in the number of graduates, will no doubt also provide graduates with relevant qualification required in our economy to meet some of the skill shortage in key sectors like health, education and science.
“We have also tried to address the gender imbalance by supporting women from poor families to enter the higher education system. We hope the students will take this opportunity and complete their studies to improve their life chances and life choices.”
MRF therefore thanked their generous donors in the UK who have made the initiative possible.