First Lady Monica Chakwera says her Shaping Our Future Foundation (Soff) will continue to support the vulnerable even when she vacates office.
She made the remarks Friday night at Kamuzu Palace on the side-lines of the launch of the foundation.
Said Chakwera: “God will give us the drive to go further with this whether in government or not. This foundation is different as this is my passion and if you affect somebody’s life in a positive way, that changes forever.”
Chakwera also shared her story of growing in the village and how she is turning that fight to support girls and street children.
“I grew up at Mwazisi Village in Rumphi and life was not easy. Our poverty was deep and our plight was great. Had it not been for the sacrifices of my mother, I would not have found opportunities outside that village. Although she was not educated, she was determined to give me an education.
“That’s where my passion comes from to educate the girl child. We hear stories of the village girl and street kids mostly at the surface, but when you really pay attention; you will understand why I would like to help. Through the foundation, we will lift barriers like schools fees and all education needs and I would like to see every secondary school having a girl’s hostel.”
Soff focuses on both primary and secondary education for girls with a provision of bursaries, scholarships, learning materials, sanitary pads, uniforms and other educational utilities.
According to one of the foundation’s board members, Bernadette Malunga, Soff is not new.
“It has been there for some time and the First Lady, who is the chairperson, has been personally supporting some street kids plus paying fees for some people. Now she has just formalised it after becoming the first lady.
“Objectives to alleviate problems that some of the disadvantaged groups are facing by among other’s expanding education opportunities, including for society’s most vulnerable and economically empower disadvantaged groups including girls and street children,” she said.
The event was attended by high profile individuals, including former president Joyce Banda, former first ldies Annie Muluzi and Callista Mutharika, Vice-President’s wife Mary Chilima, Speaker of Parliament Catherine Gotani Hara, Lilongwe City mayor Julian Kaduya and Cecelia Kadzamira, former official hostess.