The Soko Fund supports women in Malawi to gain access to higher education within Malawi itself. We have partnerships with 4 of the public universities in Malawi - University of Malawi, Mzuzu University, LUANAR, and Malawi University of Science and Technology. At our partner institutions we offer scholarships to female students from poor backgrounds studying vocational subjects such as optometry, engineering, teaching and nursing.
We also have partnerships with several secondary schools across Malawi and this enables us to encourage women from poor backgrounds who have completed secondary schooling to consider going to university as a real possibility. We have a partnership with the Mamie Martin Fund, a Scottish charity supporting secondary schools in the northern region.
The Soko Fund believes that through supporting these female students, not only does the woman herself benefit but her community and the whole of Malawi through having educated and trained personnel in a number of public sector positions. The Fund started with 2 students in 2004, and we now have 50 students in the system and over 60 graduates working in a wide variety of areas.
In 2017, the Soko Fund has launched the Soko Fund Graduate Association (SGA) offering support to the women as they graduate and in the early stages of seeking employment. The SGA will also be offering workshops in secondary schools within a programme of peer mentoring.