Speaking to girls in Blantyre during the International Day of the Girl Child, Deputy Head of Corporate and Investment banking, Linda Manda, said it is only through hard work and determination that a girl can conquer the obstacles that stand in her way for a brighter future.
Rachel Bezele who is an 11 year old girl from Soche East in Blantyre and aspires to become an accountant one of these days says, as a girl child, often times she doubts if this will be possible because of the increasing number of girls that drop out of school every year.
One of the reasons that she cites is lack of female role models to inspire them so that they can do better in life and this is why Standard Bank Malawi decided to invite girls from various primary and secondary schools around Blantyre to work and have a mentor in various branches around town as part of inspiring them.
Going around the bank and meeting various managers and workers at their Blantyre Branch, Rachel says she has been inspired and believes that women can finish their education at a young age and hold managerial positions and what this day means to all the girls.
“I want to become a reliable citizen in the future and all this can only be attained through my education. I want to be an accountant and today, we have learnt that confidence plays a key role in advancing my dreams. I have been mentored and inspired by the young ladies that work in this bank and I want to be like most of them when I finish my education and I will not allow early marriage to stand in my way,” said the Standard 7 learner.
Standard Bank has an initiative called Keeping girls in school which they work in partnership with UNICEF and in line with this initiative, the bank thought it wise to bring these girls together and provide career mentorship, role modeling and confidence building in girls that are still in school.
Deputy Head: Corporate and Investment Banking and Head of Client Coverage Linda Manda said the bank’s commitment stretches beyond contributing towards the empowerment of girls in Malawi by keeping them in school while providing continuous guidance in career development from underprivileged communities through role models.
““Through the initiative, Standard Bank is keeping its promise of contributing towards the empowerment of girls in Malawi. Our commitment in promoting girls education is as evidenced by our partnership with UNICEF and other initiatives aimed to raise funds for the education sector. As you know, we also use the Be More Race proceeds that go towards buying needs of girls in school and employees volunteering in the mentorship programme as some of the initiatives,” said Manda.
International Day of the Girl Child is commemorated on 11th October every year and this year’s theme is “With her, A skilled Girl force.