According to UNICEF reports on primary education in Malawi, over 10 percent of school-aged children do not attend primary school. Even if in 1994 the school fees, at least for the primary school, were abolished, only 26 percent of children completed the entire primary school cycle. Of these children that do complete primary school, only 16% are girls. The equal number of girls and boys into school has been achieved for primary education, but because of the high drop out rates of girls in primary education, there is no equal number of boys and girls starting secondary education. Keeping girls at school for extra years, gives the room for her to develop required skills which are essential for their household economy growth and develop their communities at large. At the same time, they marry in later age and have to decide whom to marry with.

In addressing this gap, CHICOSUDO’s focus is on ensuring that girls and other boys especially of less priviledge have complete their primary school education by addressing challenges hinder their access to education that include: school supplies, furniture, recreation materials and equipment, poor menstrual hygiene products, school uniforms and scholarships.

IMPACT

100 children have been reached in Mulanje and Blantyre with school supplies, Uniforms and 76 have benefited with re-usable sanitary pads.
10 girls who were at risk of dropping out of school, are on Scholarship.

By 2025, CHICOSUD aim to reach maintain and purchase 1500 School Furniture in Primary School in two districts, Mulanje and Blantyre, 1000 children to reactive school uniforms and supplies, 500 adolescence girls have access to reusable sanitary pads and 20 Primary and Secondary Schools have access to recreational materials. Lastly 100 children have access to scholarships. ( Should be under projects)

Supporting Education for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (SE4OVC) Project description

Keeping girls at school for extra years, gives the room for her to develop required skills which are essential for their household economy growth and develop their communities at large. At the same time, they marry in later age and have to decide whom to marry with. However school drop outs among girls especially in rural areas remain high in Malawi. According to UNICEF reports on primary education in Malawi, over 10 percent of school-aged children do not attend primary school. Even if in 1994 the school fees, at least for the primary school, were abolished, only 26 percent of children completed the entire primary school cycle. Of these children that do complete primary school, only 16% are girls. The equal number of girls and boys into school has been achieved for primary education, but because of the high drop out rates of girls in primary education, there is no equal number of boys and girls starting secondary education. This means that Malawi also didn’t achieve the MDG number 3 of eliminating gender disparities in education. Since 2017, CHICOSUDO has been working in Traditional Authority Nkanda in Mulanje.

School dropouts rates in Mulanje remain one of the highest in Malawi. According to Mulanje District Development Plan 2018 to 2022, dropout rates for girls in primary school is at 10.9% and are twice the rates among boys (4.9%) and only 18.1% of girls enrolled in primary school go onto secondary school. In the community like Senior Chief Nkanda, the rural areas of Mulanje district, adolescence and girls who drop out of school while in primary school level, face major physical, mental, social and economic changes in their development as they are growing into female adults; during this phase, young women become independent and take risks, including experimenting with sex which lead to early pregnancies and child bearing, involving in sex work where they are at risk of contacting sexually transmitted infections, crime, child labor even trafficking and are prone to gender based violence. This is also worse to orphans and vulnerable children. By the age of 24 around 84.8% of the girls in Senior Chief Nkanda had had more than one pregnancy which is a threat to children health.

Therefore CHICOSUDO initiated Supporting For Her Education Project which is aiming at reducing school dropouts from 5% to 3% and retention rates particularly for girls and Orphans and Vulnerable Children 5 Primary Schools around Senior Chief Nkanda in Mulanje, by promoting child friendly, strengthening parental economic status and sensitizing parents and community leaders against negative cultural practices that contribute to keeping school age children away from school by December 2025.

It is against this background where Chitani Community Sustainable Development Organization is working in two districts namely: Blantyre and Mulanje to support education for orphans and vulnerable children.

The goal of the project is to reduce school dropout rates among 200 orphans and vulnerable children of 11 to 17 years old in six primary schools and 5 community day secondary schools in Mulanje and Blantyre by maintaining school furniture, recreational materials, school supplies, school fees sanitation and hygiene products and addressing negative cultural practices that contribute keeping school age children, particularly girls, Orphans and Vulnerable Children, away from school by 2025.

Objectives

1. Sensitizing parents and community leaders against negative cultural practices that contribute to keeping school age children away from school by December 2025.
2. Promoting child friendly services in 5 targeted primary schools in Senior Chief Nkanda in Mulanje by December 2025.
3. Retain 1000 needy children at school through educational materials, school uniforms, bags and accessories in targeted primary schools under Traditional Authority Nkanda in Mulanje.
4. Strengthening economic status among 3000 low income families through introduction of Savings and Internal Lending Community (SILC) approaches by December 2025.


Key activities

1. Conduct series of community dialogues both at the school and community level to discuss cultural issues that hinder education for girls
2. Conduct community awareness campaigns to sensitize parents, community leaders and community members on the importance of girls education.
3. Conduct advocacy meetings on child friendly approaches and popularizing code of conduct document to promote the rights of girl child.
4. Training mother groups members in menstruation hygiene
5. Conduct awareness campaigns on menstruation hygiene among targeted adolescence girls.
6. Train mother group members how to make re-usable sanitary pads.
7. Support mother groups to Sew and distribute 5,000 reusable sanitary pads to adolescence
8. Construction 3 toilets attached to changing rooms in three Primary Schools. 9. Procure and distribute play materials
10. Launch man as protectors campaign where we will engage male teachers and boys to protect girls from any form of gender based violence.
11. Distribute 5000 uniforms, school bag and accessories among adolescence girls Procurement and distribute note books to needy children for the three terms.
12. Introduce Savings and Internal Lending Community concept among 5000 parents and guardians around targeted schools.