Saved from Hell: the Story of Agnes Gondwe

As PRISCILLA MLENGA writes, Agnes lost hope with her future with the seemingly never-ending challenges that her family faced.

Aware that education is crucial to the development of Malawi, SOS Children’s Villages has bailed out a young lady whose future looked bleak by providing her with a bursary so she could continue to pursue her nursing and midwifery studies.

The charitable organization assisted Agnes Bertha Gondwe, now aged 27, through its education support initiative that has a bursary programme targeting needy students in Mzuzu city.

Before the NGO stepped in, Agnes' parents, from LUJESO Community-Based Organisation at Chiputula, were unable to provide her with both tuition fees and learning materials due to poverty.

Agnes lost hope with her future with the seemingly never-ending challenges that her family faced.

She was staring hell in the eye. 

Luckily for her, SOS Children’s Villages came to her rescue through its Family Strengthening Programme which the organization is rolling out to assist needy families.

The story of Agnes now reads like some fairytale as she now holds a diploma in Nursing and Midwifery and is working for Lugola Health Centre in Mangochi district.

"The education support initiative by the Family Strengthening Programme has really helped me realise my long-time dreams. SOS Children’s Villages came at the nick of time to provide me with the necessary support just when the situation was really getting bad, " Agnes said. 

"It is my plea that the organisation should continue rendering educational support to all needy students so that, together, we develop Malawi," Agnes said. 

Agnes' mother, Anna Mtegha, a widow of four children, said, " I was not able to support my child’s education through the small business that I was running, but now, through the education support, my daughter Agnes has turned into the bread winner for our family."

"She is very supportive to the family and the entire community of Chiputula through LUJESO CBO, which is also proud of her success. It is my plea that the organisation should continue with the support to other vulnerable students,’’ Mtegha said. 

Field Officer for SOS Children’s Villages in Mzuzu, Youngson Nyasulu, said the organisation is proud to realise that Agnes has achieved her dream through the Family Strengthening Programme.

"As a programme,  we are also proud of this success story and also to learn that she is doing well in her medical profession and she is also supporting her family with the basic necessities. I urge other programme beneficiaries of the education support initiative to also work hard in school and realise their dreams," Nyasulu said.