CHILDREN in Malawi and the entire world are key to the future of societies and, therefore, governments and other stakeholders need to promote children’s welfare and empowerment so that they can play their fundamental role in human progress, Lewis Kamundi, Chairman of the ‘Lewis Kamundi United Foundation’, has said.
Furthermore, Kamundi says the future of any nation is determined by women who are pillars of families hence the need to empower women so that they are able to actively participate in the country’s political, social and economic development.
Speaking in an interview with Nyasa Times on Monday, May 31, 2021, the United Kingdom based philanthropists said this is the reason why he has established the Lewis Kamundi Foundation to carry out charity activities in his native Mangochi district and a few other places in the southern region in order to improve the plight of children and other underprivileged and marginalized groups.
Kamundi previously headed the Malawi Youth Dream, which had been instrumental in changing the lives of children, particularly, in Mangochi and other districts in the southern region with respect to empowering children, especially those in primary schools.
According to Kamundi, his Foundation wants to bring new strategies of encouraging children to stay in school and that will include introducing water and sanitation programmes and creating an enabling environment for the girl child who is usually disadvantaged by most learning environments, especially in the remotest areas.
He said he is excited that the President of the Republic, Lazarus Chakwera announced when he presented the State of the Nation Address (SONA) that his administration would soon be making primary education compulsory, saying such a move is in tandem with the core objectives of the Lewis Kamundi Foundation.
“We shall be more than glad to partner with government and other stakeholders to deal with the many attendant challenges that come with such a bold decision. Making primary education compulsory is not a simple thing to do but it is achievable as has been the case in many countries. We can learn from them but obviously implement our own model,” said Kamundi.
Apart from programmes to empower children, LKF shall also implement other social programmes, including ensuring the welfare of women, the elderly and all other underprivileged groups in Mangochi and other districts in the country.
He said the Foundation’s objectives will be to invest in agriculture, health, SMEs and adult literacy education and training so that the beneficiaries become self-reliant, in the long run.
However, Kamundi said the Foundation’s programmes shall largely tilt towards promoting the welfare of children and ensuring that children have access to quality education “because it is the most important investment not only for the individual children but for the future social and economic development of the country”.
“Education is the most important investment a nation can ever make in its future. We must all ensure that our children receive quality education and in an environment that inspires them to attend classes every day.
“My Foundation is very committed to partnering with the Government of Malawi and local and international partners to ensure that the education sector receives deserved and maximum attention for our children to acquire knowledge and skills that would tremendously improve their own livelihood and the country’s social and economic status,” said Kamundi.
He revealed that he is actively engaging international philanthropists, organizations and well-wishers in the UK and other countries overseas to help Malawi transform its education system and ensure that the children have access to quality teaching and learning environment to unlock their full potential and significantly contribute in the progress of Malawi in future.
The Lewis Kamundi Foundation shall also strive to keep orphans and underprivileged children away from the street and away from HIV/Aids by providing free kit, footballs and other sports equipment to Mangochi children.
“We believed that football and other popular sporting activities would keep children in school. Young boys and girls are selling wares on the markets, fishing, loitering around shops and begging, among others. We are poised to take them back to school,” he said.
Kamundi said it their resolve to expand the Foundation’s programmes to other regions across the country and that officials of his organization would soon undertake a nation-wide needs assessment tour so that they could engage prospective donors and well-wishers with absolute facts on the ground.
According to UNICEF, access to education in Malawi has improved over the past decade but primary school net enrolment rate has declined in the last years, from 98 percent for both boys and girls in the past four years. It says while the government is committed to improve quality and efficiency of basic and secondary education, it is constrained by limited resources. – Nyasa Times ■