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"If you think education is expensive, try ignorance!"

  (Seen in a Malawi bus station)

One of the little RPC programs which has not received much attention is its Education and Training Program. I must admit that I have not paid sufficient attention to this. It should really be better known.

This realisation has hit me particularly this week because on Wednesday, our first RPC sponsored graduate has seen the fruits of her efforts and received her degree. And everyone around here is delighted.

Adija Masambo
Bachelor of Science in Animal Science

Adija Masambo is a young Malawian whom I first knew through her exemplary work as a field officer with the Small Scale Livestock and Livelihoods Program. It was later that she was selected for support for studies at the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) for the degree of Bachelor of Science in Animal Science. Through the generosity of a small number of individuals over the last three years, RPC has been able to sponsor Adija for university fees and other minor expenses. Despite difficult personal circumstances, she has done well in her studies. Her final year project "A Supply Chain Analysis of Indigenous Chickens and Eggs in Dowa District" was published on the RPC web site. Adija has capitalised on her expertise and interest in poultry - she is already raising her own chickens at Zomba in the south of Malawi. We are delighted with this outcome and we are keen to see more results of her clear interest and aptitude in the poultry sector. I have long admired Adija for her exceptional skills in animal handling and management - she is a 'natural'. I am confident her career moves will greatly benefit the sector.

So now you can perhaps understand why I'm feeling just a touch of guilt. The lavish, standing-room-only graduation ceremony on Wednesday was a fitting finale to this phase of her studies. Adija's achievement is a wonderful step for her, and for Malawi. My accolade is belated - I really should have warned you earlier!

Enough! I have more little secrets up my sleeve but they will have to wait till next time. I promise it won't be long.

Pat Boland

23 March 2018

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