Archive for ‘Education’


The 10 Most Important Facts About Education in Malawi

October 15th, 2018

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Malawi has been ranked as one of the lowest-performing nations for literacy in sub-Saharan Africa. Malawi is one of the least developed countries in the world and education is proven as one of the critical pathways to improving living conditions in the country. Here are 10 facts regarding education in Malawi:

Experts believe that education is the driving force to alleviating poverty in Malawi and that it can help the country move toward development. With greater government involvement and international organisations supporting the nation, education in Malawi has the potential to improve in coming years.

Hunger Stunts Learning

September 26th, 2018

The impact of hunger on education systems is gravely underreported. Being severely malnourished, to the point it impacts on brain development, can be the same as losing four grades of schooling. Around 171 million children in developing countries are stunted by hunger by the time they reach age 5. Stunting can affect a child’s cognitive abilities as well as their focus and concentration in school. As a result, stunted children are 19% less likely to be able to read by age eight. Conversely, good nutrition can be crucial preparation for good learning.

Our Schools Growing initiative teaches children about how to grow their own food and supports and encourages them growing vegetable gardens at their schools. TT’s project support assistant, Aubrey with a school groupPreparing lunch at school

Today is International Day of the Girl

October 11th, 2017

Today is International Day of the Girl. We strongly support the ambition of UN Women: “On the International Day of the Girl Child, let us commit to investing in skills training and education for girls and livelihood activities for young women around the world who are facing crises. Far from being passive recipients of assistance, these girls are leaders who will use the skills that they develop today to rebuild their communities, and create a better future for all of us.

International Day of the Girl

Girl Power: Getting them back into school

September 26th, 2017

Although the number of out-of-school girls has declined by 52 million since 2000, 63 million girls are still not in school today. According to the most recent UNESCO Institute of Statistics data, girls are twice as likely as boys never to enrol in school.

Barriers to girls’ education are complex and multifaceted. In addition to unfavourable school environments, they can include discriminatory social and cultural factors, early marriage and school-related violence.

There are huge advantages to a society to having more girls go through school, it’s much beyond the macro benefit. The child of a mother who can read is 50% more likely to live past 5 years. Fascinating infographic here which is both horrifying and a source of hope: http://www.globalpartnership.org/blog/breaking-down-barriers-girls-education.

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Lynn and ALK off to Malawi

September 9th, 2017

Lynn and ALK to Malawi
We caught up with Lynn Clifford and Anne-Louise Kelly on their back to Malawi. Item 1 on the agenda there is to roll out a new growing season of the nutrition and conservation project we run with WAG. We’re adding 5 new schools to the existing 5 to bring the total number of children being reached to approx. 10,000.

Schools Growing Competition is a Winner

June 23rd, 2017

Our new schools food growing initiative with WAG seems to working well, though it is early days. Aubrey, who is running it day to day, is putting amazing energy and dedication into the programmes at 5 schools close to Thuma. Over 4000 children attend these.

It’s run as a competition between the schools to create a bit a fun as well encouraging everyone to participate. The pupils get vital skills in growing, tending and harvesting as well as feeding themselves. Education is key to breaking out of poverty, but it’s impossible to learn if you’re hungry. Thanks to Lynn, Aubry and WAG for their enthusiasm and commitment on the ground. There’s more detail here.

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Aubrey and pupils TT schools project

School Brown Nut harvest

Beekeeping Trial

June 14th, 2016

Our great friend and agri-expert, Tony Finch is always extolling the virtues of beekeeping as part of a food sustenance mix in Malawi. We have looked at it before as a possibility, but it didn’t happen. Now we’re delighted to support Aubrey, WAG ranger & key TT supporter at a beekeeping course here at Kusamala Institute of Agriculture and Ecology with a view to trialing a beekeeping project.

Kusamala

Women’s Education is a Key Influencer of Health

October 15th, 2015

We’re sometimes asked why we’re focussing in our small way on women’s projects, with women growing to feed themselves, on educating them too and supporting girls in school. One fundamental is that women’s education is the essential predictor of infant mortality, more than household income or wealth. This is the view of Michael Marmot is his latest book, “The Health Gap: The Challenge of an Unequal World.”

He’s only framing an insight that’s revealed itself all around the world:

That Women’s Education is a Key Determinant in their Children’s Survival

According to The UN, available information from 68 countries with data on under-five mortality by mothers’ education indicates that a woman’s education is a key factor in determining whether her children will survive past the first five years of life. A child’s chances of surviving increase even further when his or her mother has a secondary or higher education. This may be at the edge of dreams for rural Malawian women. However, even an extra year of primary school increases girls’ eventual wages by 10-20%, encourages girls to marry later and have fewer children, and makes them less likely to experience violence.

Yet unfortunately, in many areas of the world, educating girls is perceived to be less important than educating boys. It’s not about equality in an abstract moral sense - though it’s that too - it’s about practicality and survival of the nation.Keeping women uneducated is a lose-lose.

And these women are working incredibly hard. Women in Malawi spend over eight times more than men collecting water and fuel. While girls in rural Malawi also spend over three times more time than boys fetching the same. With less chances to stay in school. It’s not behaviour unique to Malawi, quite the reverse - as laid out in this UN Women Watch summary.

So as well as promoting food sustenance projects among women, we’re trying to help upskill them a little, and offer the opportunity for schooling for all to last at least a little longer. Of course, that’s also easier when you’re not hungry too.

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