NEW PARTNERSHIPS EVENT at EDINBURGH UNIVERSITY June 14th 2016
One of the most important recent developments in the work of the Soko Fund is the formation of partnerships with high schools in Malawi. Hitherto, nominations for Soko Scholarships have been made exclusively through the three partner universities. This has restricted scholarships to women who have already managed to complete at least one year. But now, thanks to a series of new partnerships, seven high schools across Malawi will be able to nominate school leavers for Soko university scholarships, enabling the Fund to support women’s education from year one of their study. Building on an initial partnership with APU, a high school for girls near Lilongwe, the Soko Fund has negotiated a second partnership with the Scottish based Mamie Martin Trust. For many years the Mamie Martin Fund has supported several high schools run by the Presbyterian Synod of Livingstonia in northern Malawi. A third partnership, brokered by the American Friends of the Soko Fund, will shortly be finalized with Urban Promise International, an educational organization that has two schools in the Liliongwe area – Mercy High School, and RiseMalawi.
On June 14th 2016, Edinburgh University will host a special event in its Chrystal MacMillan building to celebrate these partnerships and raise the profile of the Soko Fund and the Mamie Martin Fund. Chrystal Macmillan (1872 - 1937) was the first female science graduate of the University in 1896. She made history again in 1908 as the first woman to plead a case before the House of Lords, where she argued for the right to vote for female university graduates.
Supported by the Scotland- Malawi partnership, this event is also an opportunity to highlight the Sustainable Development Goals (or “Global Goals”) agreed and launched at the UN General Assembly in September 2015. Goal 4: “Quality Education” is directly relevant to the work of the Soko Fund. It includes a commitment to substantial expansion, by 2020, of “the number of Scholarships available to...African Countries, ...for enrollment in higher education.”
In addition to presentations from the Soko and Mamie Martin Fund, there will be video contributions from Partners in Malawi and the U.S.A.