By Arnold Mnelemba
Iron sharpens an Iron, joy, hope and motivation filled Calvary Family Church Hall, Falls Estate in Lilongwe on Saturday, September 19 when women of impact converged for an ernest and frank talk.
Former President of Malawi Her Excellency Dr Joyce Banda gave a moving speech at a women’s conference dubbed ‘Women of Impact conference’.
Scripture’s Union youth section organised the women’s conference that attracted a wide range of women from across the country.
Rudo Chakwera, Ruth Kulaisi and musician Rittah were some of the ladies who gave a talk to motivate young women in a quest to shape their future as well as grooming their faith in God.
The climax of the event was a talk from the former Malawi leader who inspired the audience with her nerve-shaking personal story. Some dropped tears, tears of joy and hope for the better future.
She encouraged women to work hard be strong and fear the Lord in their endeavours as a way of reaching out to others and leave an impact in their lives.
“Selflessness, unity, integrity, hard work and the fear of the Lord is all you should long for, if one door closes, look for an alternative, God will show you a window. I urge you fellow women to always look forward, work hard and stay focused,” said Banda.
In her speech, the former Malawi leader talked about life being short and therefore urged the women to draw a life’s mission statement and remain focused.
She urged women to continue building their capacity throughout their life. “Take courses, go back to school if necessary but continue to empower yourself,” said Banda.
Adding, “Money is power! It is not evil. It is people that abuse money that are evil. Money enables you to help the poor.”
Dr. Banda said economic empowerment of women is key to social and political empowerment.
“Once you are economically empowered reach out help and empower others,” she said
She also cautioned women about what they say calling upon them to remain positive about what they say “People, animals, plants etc die but words don’t die.”
Dr. Banda shared her mission in life which she said is to assist the women, the youth and the less privileged gain social, political and economical empowerment through entrepreneurship, good health and education.
The former Malawi leader has spent most of her adult life as a development practitioner, a philanthropist and a champion for social justice and equality. She has a strong passion for women, children and the under-privileged.
In this regard, she has been involved in several development and humanitarian.
She established the Joyce Banda Foundation in 1998 and the Foundation reaches out through integrated rural development services to over 300,000 underprivileged beneficiaries.
The Foundation provides more services including free secondary school for orphans, early childhood development and orphan care, youth development, food and income security, maternal health and safe motherhood, water and sanitation, women’s leadership as well as economic development for women.