● Maryam Girls’ Teacher Training College (Malawi) Scholarship
We organised a sponsored Sunrise Walk to fund a full scholarship for a woman student at Maryam Girls Teacher Training College in Mangochi, Malawi. Students are enrolled in a two year programme which results in a locally recognized qualification to teach at a primary school level.
The college provides full time boarding facilities to post A-level students, many of whom would otherwise have no opportunity to further their education or careers. All the students are sponsored and this includes meals and some clothing. The government of Malawi is aiming to make primary school education freely available to all children so there is great demand for teachers. The first cohort of students graduated in summer 2008, and all have been employed.
This is a small charitable trust with 4 unique and specialised vehicles (JUMBULANCES) which are part coach and part ambulance. Jumbulances are designed to transport people (known as VIPs) who are sick or disabled over long distances in comfort and safety with the help of volunteers (nurses, carers and where needed a doctor). We are raising money to support this very worthwhile charity which makes travel possible for even the severely disabled and transforms their lives. We plan to sponsor young carers (who would not otherwise have the funds) to support VIPs on their travels.
● Women’s Rights in Afghanistan
We have written to President Karzai of Afghanistan urging him to reconsider the introduction of the proposed new ‘Shia Family Law’ and rescind it as soon as possible. We also wrote to the nine MPs representing club members, setting out SI’s position on the issue and urging them to raise our concerns as effectively as they can. Between them they have written on our behalf to the Foreign Secretary, to the Afghan Ambassador and to Lord Malloch-Brown, Minster for Asia at the Foreign& Commonwealth Office. We have received a reply from the Afghan Ambassador saying that he has forwarded our views to President Karsai. We have also received a detailed reply from Lord Malloch-Brown setting out the government’s position and stating that he shares our concerns and will continue to monitor the status and rights of Afghan women and girls.
● Stop Rape Now
Club members showed solidarity with UNIFEM’s GET CROSS! campaign by uploading a ‘crossed-arms’ photo to the Stop Rape Now website. So far it is only one of 8 photos from the UK.