A 21-year old student nurse who is the only girl to have studied primary and secondary education on Likoma Island has been awarded a university scholarship by the Diocese of Northern Malawi.
Mercy Saidi passed her MSCE with a score of 15 points and has been awarded a four-year scholarship at the Kamuzu College of Nursing.
She is the first female in decades to go to university from Likoma, the largest of two inhabited islands in Lake Malawi. For many years the congregation of All Saints supported a medical charity serving the island, African Steps.
The Bishop of Northern Malawi, Fannuel Magangani, spoke of his hopes that Saidi will return to Likoma island to serve the local community after she qualifies. “We made a pledge to support her education from first year to fourth year when she finishes her studies,” he said. “We hope by supporting her she will also come back on the island to support other people.
“But we have seen today that we can give an award to a student from our own school, so we are very blessed today and grateful, that we have at least a product that is going to be a registered nurse from Kamuzu College of Nursing.”
He praised local congregations who had donated financial gifts to fund the scholarship as their commitment to mission, even though they themselves were very poor.
“I am so excited because it is like a dream come true,” Saidi said. “I always wanted to become a professional and spirited nurse that would be trusted by her clients.”
And she had a message of encouragement to other girls to study science-based subjects and to work hard to achieve success.
“The science subjects are for everyone regardless of sex as long as you work hard and stay focused when you put your determination on what you want,” she said.
• Full story at Anglican Communion News.