The Mzuzu Academy opened in 2010, and Alile – who had shown exceptional academic promise since her introduction to Kwithu six years earlier – was enrolled as one of its first intake of scholarship students, who were all funded by Egmont. All the supported children have lost one or both parents to AIDS, or are HIV+ themselves.
After four years, Mzuzu Academy is thriving, attracting Malawian government ministers’ children as well as students from Zambia and the United States. In 2013, the top three performing students were bursary pupils. Two scholarship pupils were recently selected by the American Embassy to study abroad for a month as part of the Pan- American Leadership Programme, and another student represented Malawi in the first African Youth Athletic Championships in Nigeria.
Alile, along with all the other bursary students, also helps out regularly at the Kwithu Women’s Group tutoring sessions.“It’s about giving back,” says Anna. “The older Kwithu kids see how important this place was for them, and they want to be there for the younger kids.”