We currently sponsor more than 70 students. Most are on our secondary school scholarship programs in Malawi, Zimbabwe and Zambia but we also support students who are in job training or higher education. Over 100 students have completed their secondary school education because of our program and your donations. Some of these students have gone on to find jobs or take higher educational courses. In 2012 we launched a teacher training scholarship.
Malawi is one of the poorest countries in Africa, with 74% of the population living below the international poverty line of US$1.25 per day and only 50% of women are literate. While we continue to provide scholarships for boys, The Rosemary Pencil Foundation pays particular attention to improving education for girls. We have a ‘girls only’ initiative in Zimbabwe which we started in 2011 and in 2017 we started the program in neighboring Zambia for girls as well. When girls have access to schooling, families deepen their commitment to supporting their daughters’ futures, a proven method for growing family income and supporting girls, their families and communities on their path to a brighter future. Recent research shows that when girls have the opportunity to read books, they read more often then boys.
We work closely with Children in the Wilderness, a non-profit organization with branches in Malawi and Zimbabwe. CITW hosts orphaned and underprivileged children from the local communities at camps that it runs and it is from these groups of teenagers that our students are chosen. CITW provides follow-up programs and counselors are in touch with former campers, allowing us to track our students’ progress throughout the year and ensure that school attendance is steady and students do well academically. CITW also runs after-school programs at some of the rural schools with a focus on the environment and conservation, teaching the children (of all ages) to take care of their surroundings and help prevent poaching and the cutting down of trees that has led to massive de-forestation.