Maria comes from one of the very poor family in Chintheche Community (Nkhatabay District in Northern Malawi). Maria came to camp in 2005 when she was 13 and was in grade 7. She was selected as Children in the Wilderness camper during the years when we were only recruiting children who were orphans and were coming from marginally poor families in the local catchment area. Maria came from a family of two daughters living with a helpless mother.
In waiting for her chance to go to college for teaching career, Maria had worked as assistant laboratory technician at her former Secondary School (Bandawe Secondary School).
Maris’ mother used to fetch firewood pieces and selling them in small bundles by one of the main roads in the community. Getting Mk200 (ZAR 10) in a day is only happening on a luck day. When Maria came to camp, she was among little 4 girls who were full of fears about their live and how the general environment from home used to treat them. In camp she found and felt some relief. She had found some caring and loving mentors. She used to ask many questions about how she could make it to her brighter future which was being mentioned now and then by the mentors. At the end of camp she felt empowered and assured of possibility to catch the brighter future. At the end of camp she was awarded as a King Fisher for the love of water sports and being determined in catching what she wanted.
Maria went through her Secondary School course with sponsorship from the Rosemary Pencil Foundation (USA). Maria had finished and passed her Secondary School with flying colours. She is currently in College –year two pursuing Teaching Career. She would like to come back into her home community and assist to reduce the case of the teachers’ shortage in the local schools.
Maria is really a role model to so many girls not only in CITW mw program but also to every girl who comes from the background similar to that of her. She has and still showing strong heart and good determination to accomplish what she wants to achieve. Most of the girls in her age range from the same community and similar background failed on the way as they could not just overcome the challenges which Maria managed. Her aspiration is to become an expert in Environmental Education. She would like to become a young woman with voice of change that would assist in keeping the green environment of their home District, Malawi and that of the whole Southern Africa.