Shooting for success

Link is helping girls in Malawi to build their confidence and learn life skills through special netball sessions with our partners, United Purpose. These sessions run in our community learning centres that are helping girls who dropped out of school to catch up on vital missed learning. We hear from one participant, Pamela,* about how the programme helped her.

Pamela is the eldest of her siblings and suffers from a visual impairment. In a family where her parents often can’t afford even basic necessities, she was expected to help out at home and take on many domestic burdens. These pressures meant she dropped out of school after just two years and never learned how to read, write or count.

In 2019, Pamela enrolled in one of Link’s community learning centres that are specially designed to help girls like her. There, she had the opportunity to take part in the additional netball classes. Her mother was initially sceptical, but after coming along to one of the sessions she quickly saw the benefits:

It was difficult at first for me to allow her to be attending [netball] activities because I thought, she will just be wasting her time. In the end, I was afraid she might get pregnant. However, when Pamela invited me to attend one session, I was very happy to see that learners were not only taught how to play netball, but they were also taught different life skills including how they can identify and report any form of abuse as well as different sexual and health related issues.”

Now, Pamela has greatly grown in confidence. So much so, that this year her fellow pupils chose her to represent them and speak publically at the project’s annual netball tournament in front of participants, senior government officials and traditional leaders.

“The tournament was one of my best moments as I had the privilege to talk to the media and showcase my skills, an opportunity which I never thought would happen to me. My parents were so proud of me […] The project has taught me personally that everything is possible [to achieve] with confidence and hard work.”

Pamela has since graduated from Link’s learning centre and is undertaking vocational training to become a tailor with our partners Supreme Sanitary Pads. She wants to be a successful business woman. We are so proud of her progress, and hope that her newfound confidence will steer her well in her new enterprise.

Pamela speaks at the netball tournament

Netball classes are delivered with our partner United Purpose through Link’s Reaching Our Goals project which is funded by Comic Relief and the Scottish Government.

*name changed for privacy