BOM Raise $6K For Malawi School Scholarship

November 29, 2018

Bermuda Overseas Missions [BOM] has raised $6,000 to start a scholarship programme to help 60 children in Malawi attend high school.

The African nation is one of the poorest on the continent and the cost of going to school, often as little as $15 per term, means the most disadvantaged children get only a basic education. As a result, in some areas of the country, the literacy rate has dropped to just 24 per cent.

As part of its mission to improve the lives of impoverished families around the world, BOM visited the Mulanje district of Malawi in 2015, and again in 2017. During the most recent visit while working in the village of Magreta, the group discovered that girls as young 12 and 13 were being married off, and many boys had stopped going to school to work as subsistence farmers, or on the tea plantations in the district.

The plight of these children struck a cord with the BOM group, which included many students from CedarBridge Academy and Berkeley Academy. The volunteers resolved to try and do something for a few of the children in Magreta, and in Muhiyo, the village the charity visited in 2015.

George Frost, a Berkeley student who was on the trip, said what he saw made him grateful for the opportunities he gets in Bermuda simply by being able to go to school.

“It was very difficult hearing about the kids in our village that were unable to attend school, due to the cost,” he said. “You could see that they had such a strong desire to learn and to have an education, and it seems very unfair that they were unable to fulfill this simply because of the cost.

“It definitely makes you realise how fortunate we are here, with the education system that we have.”

Since returning, through private donations and the generosity of local businesses, the charity has raised enough money to start a scholarship it hopes will enable children in the area to attend school for years to come.

“We were shocked to learn that girls of 12 or 13 were being married off as their families could not afford to educate the children,” David Thompson, the charity’s president, said.

“The young boys were left to help their families in subsistence farming, or go to the tea plantations to work. Now we have redirected the future of many of these young people, giving them an opportunity to obtain an education which can only lead to improved lives.

“For $100 per year we are able to provide a high school education to each child, which includes a school uniform, shoes, backpack and pens, pencils and exercise books. We have children ranging in age from 11 to 18 attending high school as many of them missed the opportunity at an earlier age.

“We realise this is a four-year commitment to finance each child, and are seeking additional support in our efforts to help the children of these villages make a difference to their lives.”

Entering its 17th year, BOM is planning two trips in 2019. In the spring, the charity hopes to return to Haiti to continue its work with the Feed My Lambs Orphanage in Montrose, which is operated by Bermudian Philip Rego.

In the summer a group will return to Malawi to continue their work constructing homes in the Mulanje district, and visit the children who are being supported by the new scholarship. Anyone interested in taking part should contact David Thompson on

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