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Shira,
Primary scholar,
Malawi

Her grandmother was also pleased to learn that the School Based Committee had chosen Shira to be one of the beneficiaries of the Safety Net Fund. Since Shira has been receiving support, she has been active in class and is among the list of girls who stand out for their academic performance. 

Shira is working hard in school, and hopes to become a policewoman. She believes that her dream will come true, and then she will be able to help her family financially. When not at school or studying, Shira continues to spend her time in the field helping her grandmother. 

“There was a great change in me when I was offered a school uniform because I knew that I would have peace of mind. I could comfortably raise up my hand and answer questions in class,” she said. “Before getting the uniform, I would not have the courage to stand in class because of the kind of clothes I used to wear.”

Shira lost both of her parents when she was 10-years-old. She currently lives with her elderly grandmother. 

Shira faced a number of barriers to attend school, including lack of clothes and shoes, lack of food, and no learning materials. Since her grandmother is very old, she cannot manage to grow crops to provide for the family. Oftentimes, Shira and her grandmother rely on well-wishers to give them food. To earn money, Shira would sometimes miss class to work in other people’s fields.

When Shira was in Standard 5, the local Mother Support Group visited the home and helped out in her grandmother’s garden. They also brought maize seeds and planted them in the garden to make sure that Shira would not miss classes so often looking for food. Good rains brought a good harvest, and the garden produced enough maize to last them until the next growing season.

Shira worked hard at school, passing her exams to advance to Standard 6. In 2012, Shira was among 58 students who benefited from Safety Net Funds. She also received a school uniform. 

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