By Duncan Mlanjira
After getting an official letter of commitment for her tuition fees support from LifeCare Malawi Foundation, in conjunction with potential benefactors both in Malawi and USA, the promising student nurse, Dorothy Constance Muyatso — who was forced to drop out of St Joseph Nursing School in Nguludi — returned to continue her studies on Tuesday.
US-based LifeCare Malawi Foundation president, Pax Matipwiri said the school’s administration has allowed her back after being assured they shall send the official commitment of support to allow Life-Care Foundation and its partners to raise the needed MK480,000 per semester.
On Tuesday morning, staff from LifeCare Malawi Foundation, Mary Mkwaila and Sheila Hassan picked her up from her home at Bonongwe Village, Traditional Authority Likoswe in Chiradzulu District and dropped her at the school at Nguludi where she was warmly welcomed back.
At her home, the LifeCare staff were welcomed by her mother, who is very aged and almost incapacitated as she is paralyzed on her right hand side due to a stroke she suffered some years back.
Dorothy explained that her mother cannot fend for herself when she is at school and is mostly taken care of by her relations, whose houses surround hers on the village neighbourhood at Bonongwe Village.
Dorothy said her father passed away in 2007 and since then she and her mother has fended for themselves.
Her mother beamed with pleasure when she was told that her daughter has been bailed out and will resume school.
When she returned to school where the commitment letter was handed over, her Principal Mrs Mangani took time to advise Dorothy to take her studies very seriously.
“Now that you are assured of your fees, concentrate on your studies and aim to score very high because donors like these demand to see all academic assessment reports which we are obliged to provide and we don’t present lies.
“For you to continue to be assisted, you need to work hard as a way of paying them back so that should there be another needy student like you they should be inspired to help too,” she said.
She explained to the LifeCare staff that St Joseph Nursing School, being a Christian Health Association of Malawi (CHAM) administered institution, the fees cover her academic needs, accommodation and food including being accommodated and given subsistence allowance when they go out to different health centers for their clinicals (practicals).
“We always produce excellent products here because of the highly trained lecturers we have and that the students themselves take their studies very seriously just like Dorothy does.
“However, we do have many drop outs due to lack of financial help and that saddens us a lot. When we receive benefactors like you, we make sure we monitor their performance in order to earn a good name that they can come back to us if there is need to do so.
“Please, pass on our heartfelt thanks to all the benefactors who have made sure that Dorothy returns to school. Though she has lost some two weeks of learning, I am sure she will catch up very soon,” Mangani said.
Dorothy’s is a touching story — when she was first enrolled she was then forced to drop out because of lack of financial support. She was then rescued when a sponsor was identified for her through LifeCare Malawi Foundation to be sent to St Joseph Nursing School but she has since lost that sponsor, who died last January and she had to drop out again.
Following a plea done by concerned US-based Malawian, Monase Chibambo on social media and picked up as a news story by Maravi Express, there was some rapid response from well-wishers who pledged to assist and that spurred LifeCare Foundation to plead with the school’s administration to consider taking her back as they raise the fees.
By close of business on Tuesday, MK230,000 had been pledged by some members of Kamuzu Academy Alumni Association, of which Monase is part of.
Monase made the appeal on behalf of Matipwiri on three platforms, Kamuzu Academy Alumni Association whatsapp group, LifeCare Malawi Foundation and on the Malawi Washington Foundation Group.
LifeCare Foundation is a Chigumula-based NGO which is passionate at educating vulnerable women, children and people living with physical disabilities and HIV Aids.
It also focuses on gifts in kind, health care services, agricultural programmes and other training needs for vulnerable Malawians.
Its current partners include Samaritan Health Services, Oregon State University, Walnut Blvd Self Storage Corallis, National Police Aid Convoy -UK and Cavarly Chapel Corvallis.
Interested well-wishers can donate the money for Dorothy’s fees through:
Account Name: LifeCare Foundation
Name of the Bank: National Bank of Malawi
Bank Account Number: 1004163814
Type of Account: Current Account
SWIFT CODE: NBMAMWMW
Branch Account held: Top Mandala-Blantyre
The link to LifeCare Foundation for more information is http://www.lifecaremalawi.org.