The beauty queen, whose solo fundraising walk in Lilongwe two weeks ago failed to rake half of the targeted K500 000 (about $2 994), visited the tea-growing districts in her capacity as Crop of Love Ministries’ Prison Ambassador.
After inaugurating the programme in aid of over 2 000 pupils, she saluted the religious organisation for buoying her cause and forecast more children enrolling, remaining and excelling in school.
“Apart from reducing absenteeism and dropout rates, the school-feeding programme will boost pupils’ health and generosity. By helping them, I hope they will grow up into responsible citizens and learn to help others as Crop of Love has done,” said Mtegha, who wants to use her crown to motivate women and the youth.
According to Crop of Love founder Dr Kim Yong-Jin, construction of the feeding area was funded by the family of Lee Chulsoo of Korea and will run on Likuni Phala made by prisoners at Makande.
To transform inmates from takers to givers, the religious ministry, with Malawi Prison Services, is engaging the prisoners in growing maize, soya beans and other crops.
“Half of the harvest goes towards supporting the prisoners rations and the rest is milled into Likuni PalaÃ‚Â which we donate to schools, hospitals and HIV and Aids programmes in other prisons,” said Crops of Love director George Boby.
Likwezembe becomes the third school to benefit from the prisoners-driven factory after Makande and Natchefu primary schools. Namipingo in Chiradzulu is expected to be launched next month.
Currently with 317 inmates and 27 warders, Makande Prison is a pre-release centre and the agricultural enterprise is part of preparing the convicts for an industrious return into their respective communities.
The prison’s officer-in-charge Risted Mabeti thanked Crops of Love for not only cultivating the spirit of self-reliance in the inmates, but also supporting their contribution to the well-being of society, saying: Ã¢â‚¬Å“As such, the prisoners are no longer a cost and burden to government and society.”