Standard Bank hands over K15m cheque for Girls STEAM camp


Posted By

James Mphande

Posted on

3rd Jul, 2024

Standard Bank has handed over a cheque worth K15 million as part of its support towards this year’s MUST Girls STEAM Camp which opened on July 1, at the university’s campus in Thyolo.

The Girls Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) Camp is a flagship initiative by the Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST) to inspire and motivate especially disadvantaged secondary school girls to aim for careers in STEAM fields.

During the cheque handover ceremony at its regional office on July 2, 2024, the bank’s head of commercial banking, Pempho Chalamanda, said they were moved by the desire to contribute towards girl empowerment, especially through education.

“Once these girls are empowered and make careers in the STEAM field, they will come up with innovations that will be solutions to some of the nation and the bank’s current challenges. 

“As a bank we believe this is one way of living our purpose making Malawi our home. We believe in partnerships because apart from connecting us to MUST and the girls, it also offers a platform for MUST and the girls to the bank’s wider partners,” said Chalamanda while committing the bank to further collaborations in different areas.

In her remarks, chairperson of the camp’s organising committee, Dr Marion Chirwa Kajombo said MUST was thankful to Standard Bank for being among the many sponsors of this year’s camp.

“We have been able to bring some disadvantaged girls to the camp and expose them to university life courtesy of Standard Bank. Without such support, only those with ability to pay the fees would make it and that would disadvantage further those that are from rural areas.

“Standard Bank is also sponsoring technology and arts challenges in addition to challenging some of the university’s science students to solve some of its challenges. And to ensure that the secondary school girls benefit, we have paired the university students to work with the young girls on the hackathon, at least during the early stages,” said Dr Chirwa Kajombo.

She said apart from empowering the girls, the camp is also responding to the university’s objectives in its new strategic plan that seek to advance gender inclusivity.

Before closing on July 12, the girls will over the period be exposed and participate in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) related activities that include experiments, projects, industrial visits, motivational talks, life skills, reproductive health, general education tips and cultural events.

Meanwhile, the girls are busy with various activities. Among others, they are attending classes, running experiments, and learning how to produce some things in additional to learning some vital life skills.

Apart from Standard Bank, this year’s camp has been made possible with support UN-Women, NICO Life, MUST Institute for Industrial Research and Innovation (MIIRI through the Vice Chancellor's office, ICT Association of Malawi (ICTAM), National Commission for Science and Technology (NCST), Plan International Malawi (PIM), Electricity Generation Company of Malawi (EGENCO), Skills for a Vibrant Economy (SAVE) Project at MUST and Transforming Higher Education Systems (THES) Project at MUST.