In Rumphi district, there are high levels of school dropouts and absenteeism especially amongst girls and vulnerable children due to poverty. Lack of school basic needs such as tuition fees, uniform and teaching and learning materials are some of the contributing factors leading to more dropouts and under-performance. Lack of conducive learning environment such as classroom desks and school library is a major setback especially for girls who find it difficult to concentrate while sitting on the floor. There is also lack of message on readmission policy and procedures among those dropping out of school due to various reasons such as pregnancy, early marriages and lack of school fees. This mostly affects girls. Often girls do not realise that they can still go back to school after giving birth.
In addressing these challenges, LICO established a bursary scheme where several donors are pulling in their resources to support the needy and vulnerable children. Our goal is to contribute towards increased access to quality education for adolescent girls and the youths. Since 2012, LICO has sent to school 217 youths, all of them completed secondary education while 12 have been supported up to university. Currently, LICO is paying school fees for 48 students at secondary and 4 students at university. Currently, we have our students at Rumphi secondary, Bolero Secondary, Chirambo CDSS, Chikwawa CDSS, Lundu CDSS, Bembe CDSS, Luviri Secondary, Mwazisi CDSS, Mphompha CDSS, Chankhomi CDSS, Mkombezi CDSS, Mhuju CDSS, Ng’onga CDSS, Pachichi Pvt Secondary, Ekwendeni College of Nursing, Chancellor College and The Polytechnic.
LICO also conducts dissemination campaigns on school readmission policy and procedures in schools and communities.
We are also extending school uniform support to primary school students. We are supporting schools with classroom desks to improve the learning environment for the girl child.
LICO is also promoting Library development. We are refurbishing school libraries and improve book stocks. We recruit and train library assistants in library usage and computerized library management. So far, we furbished Libraries at Bumba model primary, Mhuju primary and Bolero primary schools.
The following partners are supporting us in education projects: The Egmont Trust UK, The ELMA Philanthropies, and School AID UK.