STEP has partnered with Africa Vision Malawi to provide bursaries to vulnerable students, often those with physical disabilities, to learn technical skills.
Since July, 60 students have received bursaries to take courses in carpentry and joinery, basic electronics, and tailoring. Patricia Jester, a young woman who suffers from claw hand, is an active student in the tailoring course.
She expressed that she is looking forward to return to her home village once the course is completed in November to start her tailoring business. Her mother is particularly pleased that Patricia was offered a bursary as there are few income opportunities in their household. Patricia has been out of school since standard 6 when she had to leave due to the inability to pay for the examination fees.
Chikondi Kachilikiza, a bursary holder from Lilongwe district, stated that he wanted to learn carpentry and joinery because there are no carpenters in his village. Moreover, his doctors said that having a physical job and continuing to move his limbs will help him with the symptoms of his physical disability. Since the beginning of the course, he has learned to make chairs, beds, doors, door frames and stools.
In addition to learning technical skills, the students will also be receiving lessons in business development and life skills. The students will graduate at the end of November.