For the project Girls Empowement Club, which aims at promoting the access to school for the girls, has been held at the Charles Lwanga Secondary School in Balaka the meeting with the Balaka District Commissioner Emmanuel Bambe who has appealed for a joint action of the Government and civil society to reduce the school dropout.

Bambe expressed concern that the number of girls dropping out of school continues to rise in the district, in spite of the efforts made. He said “there is need for government and other stakeholders to join hands in addressing the challenges that impede children from proceeding with their education”.

The meeting was at the end of a training course organised by the Marist Brothers of Malawi and the representatives of the Girls Empowerment Club. The main objective of the training was to orient and train Girls Empowerment Club and their executive committee members on how to develop better and sustainable Girls Clubs that can take a primary role in empowering young women and girls to lead change.

The project Girls Empowerment Club, which has been implemented in cooperation with FMSI and received the support of the organization Misean Cara, is based on the role of the girls themselves for the promotion of the girls school attendance and the change of mentality in their communities regarding the importance of girls education.

Bambe in his speech confirmed the need of the initiative: “There is a quite a substantial number of girls and boys that drop out of school annually due to poverty in their families. In fact, some quarters say we are producing the most dropouts in the country,” he said. “It’s against this background that I would like to thank the Marist Brothers for coming up with this initiative that aims to address some of the challenges these children are facing. As a council, we pledge our commitment to working with them to ensuring that the number of children dropping out of school is significantly reduced”.

Currently the Girls Empowerment Club carry out several activities that are involving the school students like meetings on particular issues of interest, awareness campaigns, actions to bring back to school the girls who have abandoned because of early pregnancies, training in business skills to make able the girls to start activities to pay their school fees.

Maggie Gundo, the project coordinator and Esther Khwisa the President of the Girls Empowerment Club confirm that after few of time the members of the Club are already 75 and among them some boy too.

The initiative is part of the larger program New Horizons for a transformative education model, that aims at promoting the access to quality education for children and young people in difficult socioeconomic situation.

As they say to the stress the impact that girl’s access to education can have for the whole society: “Educate a girl is educate a whole village”. For that, as says Br. Francis Jumbe the coordinator of New Horizons “as Marist Brothers, we are keen to see all girls getting quality education and advancing their lives”.

 

Full article: https://www.nyasatimes.com/balaka-dc-laments-escalating-school-dropouts-child-pregnancies/

 

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The Institute of the Marist Brothers (FMS: Fratres Maristae a Scholis), founded in France in 1817 by St. Marcellin Champagnat, is the second largest congregation of Brothers in the Catholic Church.  

An encounter with a dying young man, Jean-Baptiste Montagne, who knew nothing of his faith and was barely able to read, proved to be the defining moment for Marcellin Champagnat.  Soon after the boy’s death, St. Marcellin put into motion his vision.  “We need brothers,” he said, who will give their lives in the service of children and young people, especially those most in need and neglected by society.  

Champagnat, a man of great faith and trust in God’s providence, dedicated his early followers to Mary, sending them among young people, especially those least favored, to “make Jesus known and loved.”  The initial focus of his work was to provide education for children in rural, areas since this was a pressing need at the time, and provided an opportunity for their faith development.  

Today the community numbers about 3,000 members.  They are joined by a network of nearly 40,000 lay people and reach over 700,000 children and young people in 80 countries.  You will find this Marist network working in schools and universities, pastoral and social centers, youth movements and youth programs and wherever they find young people most in need.

El Instituto de los Hermanos Maristas (FMS: Fratres Maristae a Scholis), fundado en Francia en 1817 por San Marcelino Champagnat, es la segunda congregación de hermanos más numerosa de la Iglesia Católica.

Un encuentro con un joven moribundo, Jean-Baptiste Montagne, que no sabía nada acerca de su fe y que era apenas capaz de leer, se reveló como el momento decisivo para Marcelino Champagnat. Inmediatamente después de la muerte del niño, San Marcelino puso en práctica su visión. “Necesitamos hermanos”, dijo, que den sus vidas al servicio de los niños y jóvenes, especialmente los más necesitados y olvidados por la sociedad.

Champagnat, un hombre de gran fe y confianza en la providencia de Dios, consagró sus primeros seguidores a María, enviándoles entre los jóvenes, especialmente los más desfavorecidos para “dar a conocer a Jesús y hacerlo amar”. El primer objetivo de su trabajo fue ofrecer una educación a los niños de las zonas rurales, porque era una necesidad urgente en aquel tiempo, ofreciéndoles así una oportunidad para crecer en la fe.

En la actualidad los miembros de la congregación son unos 3.000. Junto a ellos trabaja una red de unos 40.000 laicos que atienden a más de 700.000 niños y jóvenes en 80 países. Esta red marista trabaja en colegios y universidades, centros sociales y  pastorales, movimientos juveniles y programas de formación para la juventud y en cualquier lugar en el que encuentren jóvenes necesitados.

Congregazione dei Fratelli Maristi (FMS: Fratres Maristae a Scholis) fu fondata in Francia nel 1817 da S. Marcellino Champagnat ed è oggi la seconda congregazione maschile (di fratelli) della Chiesa per numero di professi.
L’incontro con Jean-Baptiste Montagne, un giovane di 17 anni in punto di morte, analfabeta e senza formazione religiosa, fu un momento cruciale per Marcellino Champagnat. Poco dopo la morte del giovane, egli volle dare seguito ad un’idea che gli era balenata in seminario. “Abbiamo bisogno di fratelli”, disse, “che diano la loro vita per il servizio ai bambini e ai giovani, specialmente quelli più bisognosi e dimenticati dalla società”.
Champagnat, un uomo di grande fede e fiducia nella Provvidenza divina, consacrò i suoi primi seguaci a Maria e li mandò tra i giovani, specialmente i più emarginati, per “far conoscere ed amare Gesú”. Fin dall’inizio la sua missione fu incentrata su bambini n età scolare delle zone rurali, poiché l’istruzione era una necessità urgente al tempo e poiché rappresentava una formidabile opportunità di evangelizzazione.
Oggi la Congregazione annovera circa 3.000 religiosi affiancati da quasi 40.000 laici; insieme essi assistono più di 700.000 bambini e giovani in 80 paesi del mondo.
I Maristi, religiosi e laici, prestano la loro opera in scuole e università, centri pastorali e sociali, movimenti e programmi giovanili e ovunque ci siano bambini e giovani bisognosi da assistere
.