For the past three years, the former District Commissioner of Francistown, Sylvia Muzila, sponsored 30 orphans at her privately-owned institution to pursue their secondary education as part of her efforts to give back to the community.
The former DC, who retired from the public service in 2010, is the owner of Thabitha Secondary School, a private institution that offers both junior and senior school education in Francistown.
Speaking to the Sunday Standard in an interview, Muzila said that after her retirement, she took the challenge to sponsor the orphaned children who had earlier on failed their junior school examinations to give them a second chance.
“I had initially planned to sponsor only 5 students, but the Francistown City Council forwarded a list of 30 orphans and I told myself that through the grace of God, I will sponsor all these children in my institution to give them a second chance in life,” she said.
Muzila said that the decision to sponsor the orphans was also propelled by the fact that most of these vulnerable children failed their school examinations due to lack of support and deserved a chance in life. She continued to say that in most times, orphaned children are not given the recognition and love they deserve, especially when it comes to education.
“It is high time that the community realizes that most of the students fail because of their family backgrounds. Some of these children have got immense potential,” she said.
She revealed that that 9 of the 30 orphans she sponsored managed to pass the Junior School certificate and were admitted at the Francistown Senior Secondary School where they are now under the government scholarship. Muzila said that the remaining 21 students are still at Tabitha Secondary School where they are still pursuing their Junior Secondary certificate. She said that she is hopeful that the remaining students will pass.
“This year I could not continue the sponsorship because of financial hurdles, but I had loved to do so,” she said.
Muzila added that the main challenge that she has is the cost of paying the teachers and the other expenses encountered in running an institution.
The Public Relations Officer of Francistown City Council, Priscilla Gulubane-Simula confirmed that Muzila indeed approached them in 2010 and requested for a list of the orphans who failed their Junior Secondary School certificate to be selected for sponsorship.
“She did a tremendous job by helping FCC with the orphans,” she said.