The Vice President, Right Honourable Dr Saulos Klaus Chilima, on Saturday, September 16, 2023, joined scores of golfers and other individuals during the Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST) Vice Chancellor’s ‘Come Back to Campus and Stay’ golf tournament at Blantyre Sports Club.
The tournament was aimed at raising K250 million to support students who withdrew from campus and others who risked with drawing due to ack of fees and other financial obligations.
Speaking at the end of the tournament which raised over K200 million, the Vice President called for collaboration in assisting public universities students facing challenges in paying fees.
“We need to join hands in supporting these students because they lack many things. And for the students that are getting the support from this golf tournament, the best way to thank those who endured torturous conditions on the golf course is to pass in your studies and become good citizens,” said Dr Chilima who also presided over symbolic award of K5 million kwacha cheques to 10 MUST needy students who were present at Blantyre Sports Club.
While some corporates and individuals supported the initiative with cash, others pledged to adopt some students by taking care of their fees needs until completion of their studies.
During the event, some corporates also contributed towards the MUST Endowment Fund which was launched two years ago to support needy students but will only mature next year after the MUST authorities invested the funds as per the Fund’s plan.
For example, during the event, FDH Bank Plc unveiled a K100 million contribution towards the MUST Endowment Fund and also supported the day’s golf tournament with K5 million.
Other companies that supported Saturday’s golf tournament through cash and adoption of students included Reunion Insurance, FCB Bank, Ethco Limited, CDH Investment Bank, MDF, UGI, Illovo Sugar Malawi, Standard Bank, NBS Bank, Egenco, Press Corporation Limited, Blantyre water Board, Smile Life Insurance, Northern Region Water Board, Plan International Malawi, Nailipiri Eco Lodge, Malawian Airlines, NEEF, MRA, and individuals such as Mike Juma, Brian Coombes, Rosa Mbilizi, Rashid Gaffar, Honourable Noel Lipipa, and Dr Chilima, among others.
In her remarks, MUST Vice Chancellor, Professor Address Malata, applauded the institutions and individuals who supported the initiative, saying they made it a huge success.
“Your support will enable students who had lost hope to come back t campus and complete their studies. These are students who were selected but never reported on campus due to lack of fees, or they showed up for a few weeks and withdrew and others were on the verge of withdrawing,” said Professor Malata.
“These are students that people do not talk about. With this support we are calling on all students who withdrew due to fees challenges to contact us so we can see how best to support them. We are really grateful that the future of these students now look bright as their academic life will be back on track.
One of the affected students, Chinsinsi Luke, said her father died while she was in Form 4 and her mother was attacked by stroke a few years later, depriving her of anyone to support her education needs.
“This rendered me helpless and as a first born, I was forced to withdraw from college and do piece works like moulding bricks and digging wells to support my family and had completely lost hope of ever coming back to school until today,” she said.
During the tournament, a Blantyre Water Board comprising of Godwin Chinseu and John Gift Mwakhwawa came out first followed by another Blantyre Water Board team of Robert Hanjahanja and Gift Chidya Gondwe. A National Bank of Malawi team comprising of William Mabulekesi and Nyakhoko Msona came third.
There were also individual awards and the tickets that Malawian Airlines donated were auctioned and went at K850,000 and K1 million.