Malawi: International Day of the Girl Child in first person
11 October 2019

Christella Kiza (left): "Being a lady behind the camera is my passion and what is pushing me hard to learn film making. In Africa, this particular work has been left only for man, while girls can do it too."

After conflict has displaced them and their families, refugee and asylum seeker girl children encounter multiple challenges in the communities where they seek refuge. This hampers the independent and dignifying future that everyone deserves. Apart from delaying or, in many cases, ending their education, girls face many kinds of discrimination and violence due their gender. 

On International Day of the Girl Child, Diana, Makele and Christella invite us to celebrate the value and courage of all the girls who strive to learn every day. The three of them are beneficiaries of the Naweza Project in the Dzaleka refugee camp in Malawi. Aiming to empower refugee girls and increase their access to quality education and security, Nawesa was launched in 2018 by JRS in partnership with the Fidel Götz Foundation.

Christella Kiza

My name is Christella Kiza, I’m Rwandan and I am 13years old. I am in the camp since 2017.

When I came in Dzaleka refugee camp I was worried that they would put me in a lower class and that became the case. I felt that I was underestimate but later on I got used.

Nawesa Is supporting us with sanitary pads, life skills and scholarship for girls who get good marks.

In my future I would like to be a doctor and a camera woman because since I was young all my role models were doctors. Regarding being a lady behind the camera, it’s my passion and what is pushing me hard to learn film making. In Africa, this particular work has been left only for men, while girls can do it too.

Diana Habanishaka

My name is Diana Habanishaka, I’m from Burundi and I’m 15 years old. I fled my country to Malawi in 2017.

Back in Burundi I was in Primary school, grade 7, but because I did my studies in a French speaking country, I had to repeat a year when I resumed my studies in Malawi so that I could get used to the system. This was quite discouraging for me but I couldn’t let this opportunity go.

I found school important because I’m getting knowledge that I couldn’t get If I stayed at home and whenever I finish I will be able to support my family and the whole community struggling.

A dream: In the future I wish to be a nurse because I feel sorry all the time I see people dying in the community with no help. That’s why I will fight hard until I become a nurse.

Makelele Naldwalt

My name is Makelele Naldwalt, I’m from DRC and I’m 13 years old. I came to Dzaleka refugee camp in 2015.

My studies will unblock my life and I will be able to do things on my own as a girl.

I really struggled to get a place to resume my studies because we were too many looking for places at school. Nawesa should continue to support girl’s education because their impact is actually seen and they should expand their help because a huge number of young girls like is me are still uneducated in the community.

A dream: I want to be a pilot because I like to visit a lot of countries.

Press Contact Information
Mr. Tim Smith
+27 11 618 3404