Madalitso Singano is not your everyday average young lady. She has been through the worst, but managed to come out triumphant. Orphaned at the age of 15, life changed from what it used to be to a whole different ball game. Her uncle from her mother’s side took her in, comfort at last. Alas! Things were not what she hoped would be.
Madalitso joined SOS Children’s Villages Malawi as a beneficiary under the Grieg Gender Challenge Project in 2015. She was in form three at that time. She was one of the beneficiaries of the educational support in Ngabu programme. A year later she sat for her Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE), and she passed with barely average grades.
Field officer for SOS Children’s Villages Malawi, Willard semion, recalls that at one time, the organisation wanted to know career aspirations for the youth they were supporting. They organized an individual session with each youth to hear their choice of courses.
This was done in the most comfortable environment ever as these youths were at a stage of making very important decisions in their life time. Officers from SOS Children’s Villages Malawi provided guidance depending on one’s grades at MSCE. Each youth including Madalitso Singano made a choice regarding the course they wanted to study.
Madalitso chose to study electrical installation, a relatively male dominated field of study. She went to Stephanos Foundation College.
in 2016 where she studied electrical installation. She had eleven classmates with which for three years she shared knowledge and the simple joys of life. Singano describes her three years of college with support from SOS Children’s Villages Malawi as insightful and eye opening.
“I learnt a lot during this time. My life has changed for the better because of this opportunity. The educational support and my previous hardships were my motivation to do better”, explains Madalitso.
Madalitso started using the knowledge she gained from college way before graduating. She started with fixing fans and extension sockets for her fellow student’s right at school. Then neighbors from time to time brought business to her. This was the beginning of a long journey of self-reliance for her.
A year after graduating, Madalitso was faced with the unemployment challenge which is a common problem among young people in Malawwi. As a way of perfecting her skill and to earn a living, Madalitso asked Joel Banda to host her in his electrical workshop around Misewu Four trading centre in Ngabu and assist where need be. Barely a month after her stay in the workshop, Madalitso impressed Banda with her skill in fixing electric fans. Fixing fans is the area Banda had a gap, this was just a perfect duo which saw a lot of unfixed fans in the workshop getting back to life.
“Fixing a grinding mill mortar is one of the milestones am proud of since I started my work”. On average, I am able to make K35, 000 a month, this money is enough for my monthly requirements”, explains Madalitso.
Madalitso feels her community also recognizes her achievements. The local leaders in her community chose her to be trained as a community champion for young girls in Malikopo Area. This is a UNICEF driven programme which identifies educated and well behaved girls to be trained as community champions through the project called Apatseni Mwayi Atsikana Aphunzire (AMAA) project.
“I went to a training with fellow girls from other villages and now I have a life skills club where I meet girls and teenagers in my village to encourage them, teach them some life skills and show them that as a girl you can actually be whatever you want to be”, explains Madalitso.