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Strengthening family empowerment with CECESD in Malawi

We are very excited to be partnering again with the Centre for Community Education and Social Development (CECESD), following the success of the 'Keeping Girls and Boys in School post-Pandemic' programme delivered in 2020 and 2021!

Photos © CECESD, 2021; Keeping Girls and Boys in School post-Pandemic Programme

Our 'Family Strengthening Programme' seeks to address the growing poverty, inequality and instability for families in Malawi.

Why is the programme needed?

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, Lilongwe, the capitol city of Malawi, saw 50.7% of people living in poverty. To demonstrate the scale of this number, London only saw 16% of people living in poverty in that same year.

However, in rural communities on the outskirts of the city such as Maani and Kwamba, some families remain without sufficient food, clean drinking water and essential sanitary items.

Poverty should never be a reason why children must miss out on their education. Yet, in communities such as Kambwa and Maani in Lilongwe, there are families that are left with no other option than to send their children to work or marry them off to reduce economic hardship.

COVID-19 has presented yet further challenges for families, such as the increase in food prices, lack of employment opportunities and temporary closure of schools. With worsening climate related challenges facing small-scale subsistence farmers, households are becoming further entrenched in poverty.

School closures at the height of the pandemic saw a rise in teenage pregnancies and early marriage for girls, while the use of drugs and alcohol amongst young males rocketed, a precursor to them dropping from school.

CEWESD understands that education, opportunity and family stability is fundamental for young people to not only stay out of poverty, but to find fulfilment and reach their potential.

How the programme seeks to address the problem

The programme seeks to overcome this problem by working with Parents and Teachers Committees (PTC’s) of Maani and Kambwa Primary Schools to identify children most vulnerable of dropping out of school due to household poverty.

This nine-month project, will deliver the following key activities for children and families in Kambwa and Maani communities in Lilongwe:

Family Stability

  • Agricultural inputs and diversifying farming technique training to increase crop produce and nutrition for household diets or for families to sell with an aim of increasing household income.

  • Provide household solar power lighting and energy to reduce pressure on household tasks being completed during daylight and reducing time-poverty, particularly on girls with regards to school and women with domestic chores

Photos © CECESD, 2022 Families receive farming equipment

Educational Access and Support

  • Out-of-school life skills lessons and learning resources to encourage children to stay and complete their education.

  • Vulnerable households will receive solar power lighting and energy source so that children and young people can complete schoolwork during darkness

Photos © CECESD, 2021; Keeping Girls and Boys in School post-Pandemic Programme

Improved Wellbeing

  • Solar power torches and bicycle lights provided to households so that families, particularly women and girls, feel safer walking or cycling during darkness, be it to and from school, a subsistence farm, or the market.

The key achievements that we will see by delivering this programme:

Follow the progress of the programme and CECESD over on social media!


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