Secondary Scholar, Malawi
Alinafe used to walk an hour and a half to school barefoot, on an empty stomach, and with her belongings in a plastic bag.
Alinafe’s parents were subsistence farmers, who worked hard but struggled to support their eight children. By the beginning of secondary school, the family could not afford all her school-going costs, including fees and new text books. On some days Alinafe would be turned away from her lessons.
Then CAMFED stepped in to support Alinafe’s education. Now she no longer has to worry about being sent home for lack of payment, or getting low marks on her homework assignments, which she balances with household chores.
One of the challenges Alinafe faced was not being able to do her homework after dark, because of a lack of electricity in her community. Children like Alinafe from financially disadvantaged backgrounds are at increased risk of underperforming and dropping out of school. The holistic support that Alinafe now receives includes batteries for a solar powered lamp.
I’m proud and happy that I was selected to be one of those who is supported by CAMFED, because I know others are lacking the same support. I would not manage without the support, and I would not complete the road I am taking.
Alinafe is passionate about giving back and helping to develop her community. She would like to become a doctor when she graduates, so that she may help the sick. She knows that there are many girls in Malawi who struggle in the same way she did.
Inspired by the activism of the young women in the CAMFED Association (CAMA) – the network of women leaders educated with CAMFED support – Alinafe can’t wait to join them to promote the importance of girls’ education. She particularly wants to see education for girls in place of early marriage, which is a challenge for many communities. Alinafe is reaching for a new future of independence, and the ability to lift up those around her.