The first graduates from Lilongwe Wildlife Centre’s ‘Learning through Wildlife’ adult literacy programme took to the stage today, and they could not have been happier. These are women who were never given the chance to complete school and it was overwhelming to see their joy at receiving their certificates – the first of their lives. Every one of the 18 graduates actually danced on to the stage and even guest of honour, Minister Mr Shadreck Jonas, MP for Lilongwe City Central, reciprocated with a rousing and inspirational speech and some dancing of his own!
The project has been developed by the local communities through our People and Wildlife (PAW) clubs, and provides nationally recognised and certified reading and writing classes, as well as English language classes, to hundreds of illiterate adults within five impoverished local communities in Lilongwe. The course uses People and Wildlife issues such as poaching and animal welfare to help achieve key learning objectives.
After 10 months of hard work learning to read and write, the women were presented with a certificate at a special graduation ceremony in our brand new amphitheatre by the honorable Mr Shadreck Jonas, who commented on how happy he was that Lilongwe Wildlife Centre was continuing to invest in the local community. It was also especially heartening to know that one of the women could not attend the awards ceremony because she had got her first job, as a result of becoming literate.
The women will now start a course to develop their English language skills in order to become economically and personally empowered and reduce dependence on their husbands and support their families.
This project was made possible by funding to the High Five Club – so many thanks for their support.