A majority of young girls in Malawi are not able to attend school and even a lower percentage of girls make it to high school/college. Here is a story about Chisomo Bello, a girl who started out with a big vision that seemed impossible but with the help of Good Soil Partners and her determination to reach this vision, we celebrate her academic achievements!
Chisomo Bello is the second child in a family of three (pictured right in photo!). She started her primary school education from first grade up to fifth grade and was then transferred to Kanyadule’s primary school in Lilongwe. She was there at Kanyandule until eighth grade where she sat for the national examination in 2016. She passed the exam and was selected to continue her high school education at Kang’oma Secondary School. This was a huge victory for her because no one in her family had achieved that milestone, not even her parents and her older sister.
However, when she started her secondary education, life became difficult because her family could not afford to pay for her school fees and school materials. Her mother became very sick, and so some of the income that was used for her education was needed to pay for her mother’s medical treatments. But in ninth grade, she received a message from one of her teachers at school that she had been chosen as a Good Soil Partners Scholar, back then called Samba International. Upon receiving this message, she thanked God for His kindness and His provisions for her. And so from ninth grade in 2016 up to twelfth grade in 2020, she was a part of the Good Soil Partners scholarship program!
The first big obstacle she met was in 2020 when Malawi was hit with Covid-19. This was during her twelfth-grade year when she was preparing to sit for the Malawi School Certificate of Education exam. During this time, all of the schools were closed in Malawi, leaving her with no school books to study from, except for short notes she had from her class lessons before the pandemic. Chisomo struggled to find the eager spirit to study and prepare for these exams, and in turn, her grades started to decrease. Because some meetings were still allowed by the government, Good Soil Partners reached out and organized a meeting that was life-changing for her and her education. She met with her fellow Good Soil Partners scholars who shared advice and their own stories about surviving the pandemic, encouraging her to never give up.
After the Covid-19 cases were slowing down, schools reopened. Malawi started the national exam again but due to a leakage of them, they were canceled. For Chisomo, she saw it as a second obstacle because she had to stay home without being in class, sitting and waiting for the examinations to re-open. This was also a very difficult time but with her parent’s and teachers’ guidance, they helped to remove her fears. She also prayed to God, thanking Him for all that he has done and so she put these fears into His hands. When the exams opened back up, Chisomo passed the second national exam with flying colors.
The test had eight subjects: Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Agriculture, Geography, English, Physics and Chichewa. She received 2,2,2,3,3,4,4 and 5, totaling 16 points for the best six subjects. She graduated high school with three distinctions in Biology, Chemistry, and Mathematics!
Chisomo thanks Good Soil Partners for their scholarship program that helped her pay for all of the required school materials and school fees during her secondary school time. In addition to the scholarship, she received leadership skills and training that have helped her advance in her education. As she prepares for college, she looks back and is grateful for everything Good Soil Partners has done. Chisomo knows that she has a long way to go in her education towards pursuing a career in the medical field, but she knows that with God, all things are possible!