Thoko Unyolo
Thokozani Unyolo
Head of Marketing and Communication for Standard Bank

Standard Bank is on Wednesday launching a girl mentorship program with the United Nation Children Education Fund (UNICEF) aiming to encourage girls continue with education.

The launch at N’thulu Primary School in Dedza will see the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Temwani Simwaka leading other bank women leaders in the mentorship program targeting girls aged 8-15 in three districts of Dedza, Salima, Machinga and selected youth drop-in centres.

Simwaka said the bank has turned to its female employees women who are in leadership positions to act as role models in the mentorship program for the girls.

“Standard Bank as an equal-opportunity employer has many young women in leadership positions and we would like them to be the role models for this program, which is one of our major Corporate Social Responsibility undertaking this year. These women bankers will instil a positive ‘can-do’ attitude in the girls so that they build confidence to succeed,” she said.

Chief Financial Officer said the mentorship program will cover three key areas of career development, financial literacy and tips for avoiding early marriages.

The program follows the signing of a partnership agreement between the bank and UNICEF in April.

“We have a deep pool of talented female employees who are experts in various fields and they will take turns to mentor the girls.  Through this direct approach, we hope our girls will be motivated to remain in school and aim high in life” said Simwaka.

In April, UNICEF Malawi Deputy Resident Representative Roisin De Burca hailed Standard Bank for contributing towards the fight of keeping young girls in school.

The program targets girls from Standard 5 to 8 in 79 primary schools.

Statistics in Malawi indicate that out of more than half of a total 4.5 million children enrolled in government primary schools, 57 percent of the girls drop out leaving only 34% transitioning to secondary school.

 

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