By Florence Cheyo

‘‘You cannot choose to be born in a poor family, but you have the power in your hands to rewrite your story and wallow out of poverty”.

Our background should not determine our destination in our life, as human beings we should have an ambition to become better in our life and improve our livelihoods as well as that of our community. So each and every day when we wake up we should have the drive and passion of setting our dreams straight and writing down what we want to achieve, and by the end of the day or month evaluate if we have achieved our dreams. This means that prioritizing what we want in life should be at the forefront.

However observing that some people needs a little bit push as well as assurance, Youth Empowerment Support Initiative (YES-Initiative) an organization that mentors and support fellow youths, we took our mentorship team to Kaphirintiwa Community Day Secondary School in Salima district to motivate students on how best they can achieve their dreams.

A group photo aced the session

It was a moment of enlightenment, as they shared their fears and their beliefs on who has the best chance to go to the university. One of their worst fears was that if you are born into a poor family you have low chances of going to the university, interestingly, this is a fear shared by many students that I have met along my mentorship journey. Making matters worse if you are from a CDSS you have low chances of scoring good points and accessing higher learning education.  Such a mindset, which is in some way a reality,  is one of the major setbacks in the life of many students as this can be the reason why they do not work hard to improve their grades.

To give hope to the students, some members of our team shared their life experiences, as well as challenges they faced during their journey in secondary school and college. Somewhat  giving a sparkle of hope to some of the students, as they were talking to people who have gone through what they are going through and could relate to their experiences. Indeed they were assured that like the rest of other secondary school students in Malawi whether rich or poor they had the same chance of going to the university. The mentors said yes some face tuition challenges because of their background, but that should not stop you from fiercely driving towards your dream, be unstoppable, and be determinant, be passionate, be a goal achiever so that you can change your story.

Florence speaking to the students at Kaphirintiwa CDSS