The day started like any other normal learning day at Namikasi Secondary School which lies along the M1 Road between Lirangwe and Mdeka in Blantyre.
This was the morning of 25th April, 2018. Teachers were busy imparting knowledge to eager and attentive girl students little did they knew that they would lose all their personal belongings including school material in a fire at their dormitory.
“The fire broke out between 8.40am and 9.30am and by this time we were all busy in class, save for three girls who were sick and were at the dormitory,” recalls Samson Kasungu, Headmaster at Namikasi Secondary School.
Apparently, the girls who were sick and confined to the hostel heard a ‘loud bang’ sound at the main switch of the hostel and before they knew it, there was smoke and then fire!
“The girls lost everything; you talk of clothes, beddings and even school materials. They only had the uniforms that they were wearing at the time and the school books they had in class. It was devastating,” narrated Kasungu.
Namikasi Secondary School was built by government in 2002 as a ‘Community Day Secondary School’ to accommodate approximately 500 students around Mdeka and Lirangwe.
But because of the vulnerabilities of the girl child, the community decided to build a hostel for girls to ease their mobility problems and make learning convenient.
After the fire, the girls were sent to their respective homes for a week for their parents to provide them with basic necessities.
“When they came back, it was a sad situation as others did not even manage to come back with a blanket but a mere wrapper (Chitenje) to use as a blanket. Others failed to bring proper clothes and other items necessary for girls,” recalled Kasungu.
When National Bank of Malawi (NBM) heard about the plea for help at Namikasi Secondary School, they thought of helping through its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy.
The bank, being The Bank of the Nation, descended on Namikasi Secondary School on 5th June 2018 where they donated various items worth K5 million which included mattresses, blankets, school materials and buckets.
NBM General Manager and Head of Wholesale Banking Mr. Harold Jiya in his handover message said the donation signifies the bank’s stance on education.
“We at National Bank values education as a pillar of economic development hence our coming to support the students especially the girls who we feel should be given all the necessary support to excel in their education,” said Jiya.
Kasungu had words of gratitude for the Bank of the Nation Mr. Kasungu said:
“This donation from National Bank could not have come at a right time. The blankets and mattresses will help the girls not to worry about their lodging problems like in the past and concentrate on their class work. We are especially grateful considering that we are now in winter season and the provision of mattresses and blankets is the best in comforting the girls.