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Malawi

“I can still start school at 22 years”, Sarah dreams rages on

By Alick Junior Sichali

A visit by this reporter in Chiradzulu finds the family of Mr. and Mrs. Zinyama sitting in front of their house discussing issues of their family.

The reporter  was with a group of people from one of the social media platforms (WhatsApp) brought some relief items to support the needy family.

The group comprised of both the youth and elderly donated items like sugar, soap, bag of maize, cooking oil and exercise books just to mention a few.

Founder of the group, Gostino Tapwata, said they donated the items so that the family can have some of the basic needs which they were lacking.

Tapwata said despite the items were not so many but would at least help the family in one or the other.

“As a group we thought it wise to come here in Chiradzulu and helped our friends here so that they can benefit from the little we have given them,” Tapwata said.

But what catch my interest on the trip to Chiradzulu in visiting the family is that among the 6 children the family has, 2 of the offspring are crippled.

The duo, are Sarah and Patrick Zinyama. Sarah is a 22 years old whilst Patrick on the day of the visit turned 14 .

Despite Sarah being 22 years old, she has never attended a class at any school in the country, as her family fails to support Sarah with the basic needs because of poverty.

Sarah needs a wheelchair so that she can do some of the things alone.

Sarah cannot sit for an hour and she cannot move from one place to another because of the physical abilities she has.

In my conversation with Sarah, I learned that she does a business of selling locally handmade bags in the area.

According to Sarah this helps her to get some of the things she wants by not just relying to other people.

“I do not go to school because I don’t have a wheelchair which can help me to move from here (home) to school, but if someone can help me with the wheelchair I can start attending school because I want to be an educated woman,” Sarah explained.

On the part of Patrick, he goes to school and despite of the physical abilities, he does well in class. Patrick who is going in standard 4 was on position 6 out of 100 pupils in the final exams of standard 3.

But he fears that he cannot continue with his education as the wheelchair he has been using for the past years is stopped functioning.

The parents of the children expressed their happiness after receiving items donated by We are one group, and they should not stop helping the needy.

The parents urged other well wishers to also help them as they fail to support them because of poverty.

This is one of the practical examples which depict how life is being cruel to children despite having the interest to do their studies.

Sarah and Patrick are facing the challenge whilst politicians in the country are saying they will make sure that no child fails to attain education freely.

But with this scenario should we say the so called politicians have had a visit in the hard to reach areas and see how life is like? In my opinion I would say no as this is one of the examples on how people in the village are falling to send their children to school.

As a country we need to put measures which will help both people so that  can have easy access to education.

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