Academic journal article African Studies Quarterly

Roberta Laurie. 2015. Weaving a Sunrise: A Woman, A School, A People

Academic journal article African Studies Quarterly

Roberta Laurie. 2015. Weaving a Sunrise: A Woman, A School, A People

Article excerpt

Roberta Laurie. 2015. Weaving a Sunrise: A Woman, A School, A People. Edmonton: The University of Alberta Press. 418 pp.

The author in a delightful style convincingly projects the crucial role education plays in female empowerment. The author's focus on the development of women is in line with ongoing global efforts for female emancipation. This non-fictional work is set in Malawi and focuses on the efforts of some Canadians and Malawians to educate girls in Malawi and the gains that resulted from this. Every reader would agree with the statement that "What girls in Malawi need more than anything else is an education" (p. xviii). This applies to girls from every part of the world.

The author combines the above theme with a detailed description of many aspects of Malawian life and international affairs. These include Malawian history, the political terrain, Malawi's educational system with its challenges, the AIDS epidemic in Malawi, and the social cultural life. The portrayal is vivid.

It is stated that "65% of Malawian women are illiterates, many ill-equipped for anything but the most menial of work" (p. 274). The first effort made by some Canadians to tackle this problem was a girl's school by Rotarian Canadians founded in rural Malawi. However, the school closed less than a year later due to a myriad of problems. Fortunately, Christie Johnson, a Canadian who had taught at the school with Memory Chazeza, a Malawian volunteer at the school laboured, got funds and placed the girls in other schools. At the end, five of the girls went on to attend university while the remaining seventeen graduated from technical schools.

Memory's deep desire for the education of Malawi girls propelled her with her husband and Christy who raised funds from Rotarians in Canada and Malawi to establish a secondary school for girls known as Atsikana Pa Ulend (APU). Christy said of Memory: "So often you encounter someone with a dream so gripping and convincing, you resolve to help make it come true" (p. xix).

The author points out in several places the tremendous gains in educating girls generally and particularly in Malawi. She projects that education helps against early marriages and early child birth with its complications such as death and traumatic injuries, education increases a woman's earnings power and generally empowers her by increasing her independence and sense of self-worth, enables her to defend her rights and resist oppression and makes her capable of becoming a community leader and role model. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.