First Lady urges young girls to face challenges with vigilance

Lilongwe, September 9, Mana: First Lady Monica Chakwera has urged girls in the country to remain in school, be vigilant in facing various challenges and only make life-defining decisions at a mature level of life.

She made the remarks at Kamuzu palace in Lilongwe on Thursday during the launch of the booklet titled ‘Life Story of The First Lady of the Republic of Malawi Madame Monica Chakwera’ and a video documentary about the same, that has been developed by Plan Inter1 Malawi.

The media items depict the life of the first lady as a young girl to her present life, documenting the thick and thins she faced, growing up, and how she committed herself to overcome those in order to fulfill her life dreams.

These have been developed to reinforce hope and motivation for young girls especially in the rural areas facing similar challenges she faced.

“I grew up in a remote area and through struggles, I managed to pursue my education. My village life was not a hindrance to my ambitions in life. I worked hard and excelled in my primary, secondary and university education just as others in similar situations like mine have done.

 “The story that we launch today is a living example that many girls from rural areas can draw inspiration from and understand and realize that even with the limitations of life, one can still make it to their God-given destiny,” said Chakwera.

Her Excellency Madame Monica Chakwera, First Lady of the Republic of Malawi, Speaking at the Story Booklet launch of her life.
Chakwera: The story that we launch today is a living example that many girls from rural areas can draw inspiration from. Photo Credit _Leah Chiweza

The first lady said she hoped her story would empower young girls especially in rural areas struggling to make ends meet, to commit to their dreams and only make life-defining choices when they are mature enough.

“This is what I did and those choices have paid off today. I want young girls to know and understand that life will always offer us choices and whatever path we choose to take, will always have a bearing on who we become tomorrow,” she said.

She as such called upon stakeholders to join Plan Inter1 in making sure a lot of young girls have access to the booklet, and reaffirmed her commitment in championing ending early child marriages and promote education for all girls especially in rural areas.

The booklet is expected to be provided to schools so that young girls draw inspiration from the First Lady’s story.

So far, 2500 books have been printed. It is also expected to be translated into several local languages like Chewa, Yawo and Tumbuka.

Quiz programmes are also in the pipeline targeting rural girls as part of a continuation of the programme.

In her remarks Country Director of Plan Inter1 Malawi, Phoebe Kasoga said they made sure the book will remain relevant for the longest time possible.

“We made sure the work is free from politics so that the media items live the test of times. This should be a book that should help changing and motivate the girl child.

Country Director of Plan Inter1 Malawi, Mrs Phoebe Kasoga, speaking at the booklet and Video documentary launch of the life story of the first Lady of Malawi_Photo Credit_ Leah Chiweza
Kasoga: the book should remain relevant for the longest time possible. Photo Credit_ Leah Chiweza

“If each of us can work together, we can build a country of prosperity,” she said.

Minister of Education Agnes NyaLonje said the inspirational booklet has come at an appropriate time when her ministry is also prioritizing girl child education.

“Educating a girl child has many benefits as it helps the individual child, it brings returns to her family, it leads to reduced population growth, it leads to improved educational levels for future generations and it improves the social economic development of the country.

“Your Excellency, from your story, we all draw special lessons in humility, focus, determination, resilience and reliance on God. It is a story that connects the girl child to her dream, a story that speaks of possibilities regardless of where one comes from or their economic status. Today my ministry stands to benefit from your story,” she said.