I believe that books are very important. When the children read books they open up their minds.

Emilina, mother, Malawi
Home Education Lighting up education

Lighting up education

Emilina is a mother of five from rural Malawi. Here she tells us how access to a combined book and solar lamp library has been helping her son in his studies. This is her story.

My name is Emilina Palasido. I come from Tembetembe Village. I have five children.

During the dry season we grow crops under irrigation. We also rely on rainfall to grow additional crops for sale. Whenever we grow crops like sweet potatoes in the rainy season, we sell them and invest the money in irrigation farming.

My challenge is lack of money because sometimes the school asks money for things like examination fees, but our crops are still in the farm and we don’t have any cash.

My dream is to educate my children. I also dream of having a good house and some livestock. I hope to be able to afford education for my children, so that they can finish school and have a brighter future.

My son Dalitso is polite.  He always helps me when I ask him to do something. However, what excites me most is that he works hard in school.  Before we had solar lamps, Dalisto was using a torch to study at night but the light was weaker than the solar lamps are. The problem was batteries. Sometimes the batteries finished before I had the cash to buy new ones and the children couldn’t study. But with the solar lamp we just charge it in the sun and at night, Dalitso is able to read without any problems.

If the book and solar lamp library were no longer there, it would be difficult because the children wouldn’t be studying regularly. It is a big problem for the children because they want to read but they cannot, if the batteries are finished.

I think Dalitso is doing well in school because he borrows books and solar lights for evening studying.

He studies regularly with his friend Christopher. Every evening the two come together to read with solar lights in their hands. I think these things are assisting him to move forward with his education.

With the coming of the Solar Libraries, Dalitso  is performing well in class. I am very happy that he is following his sister who is now in secondary school.

I believe that books are very important. When the children read books they open up their minds. During exams they are able to remember things because they studied.

All images © Book Aid International/ SolarAid/ Chris Gagnon. With thanks to SolarAid for their work in partnership with us for the Solar Libraries programme. So far, we’ve set up Solar Libraries at 37 primary schools in Malawi. At each school, we work with SolarAid to provide 400 brand-new books, 40 solar lamps and funding to buy more locally published books. To find out more, click here.

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