Thembisa Mughogo is a 23-year old student at the combined nursing and midwife education program at Ekwendeni nursing college. The school is one out of 15 schools Norwegian Church Aid is supporting. For him, being a nurse is the ultimate dream.
- I have always dreamt about becoming a nurse. The lack of qualified nurses is a big challenge in Malawi, and I want to contribute and make a difference, he says.
Traditionally, midwife and nursing has been usual women’s work in Malawi. The situation is thus about to change. At Ekwendeni nursing college about one third of the students are men. Thembisa find that to be a positive thing.
- I believe all professions should have a gender balance, and I have never received any negative comments on my choice. In fact, people seem to find it admirable.
Thembisa says that the profession requires patience, integrity, confidence, knowledge and a lot of courage. On the other hand, he says being a midwife offers special experiences.
- I can’t wait to deliver a baby and be a part of their first meeting with the world. I can just imagine how rewarding it must be to help women through pain and tears, and then to see her experience the great happiness of holding her baby for the first time.
Thanks to new classrooms, student housing, library and a laboratory from Norwegian Church Aid, Ekwendeni Nursing College has increased their student body of 36 students in 2000 to 234 students in 2013. The new buildings were completed in 2009. We are so incredibly excited about this, says Margareth Khonje, Dean at Ekwendeni.
As part of Norwegian Church Aids work in Malawi, the school has additionally participated in a mentoring program where they have received professional guidance through Norwegian nursing colleges.
- Teachers from Norway has guided us in the development of curriculum and given us training in how we can use training lab that Norwegian Church Aid has built. This has meant that the quality of our teaching has improved, says Eosv Kasonola, Principal at Ekwendeni.
The school now attracts students from all across Malawi, and is among the most attractive nursing and midwife schools in the country.
Read about our work in Malawi