Over 170 supporters joined Link Malawi in celebrating the achievements of TEAM Girl Malawi graduates at a grand event. The 5-year UKAID funded project, supported girls to gain demonstrated skills in reading proficiency, livelihood knowledge, and vocational skills – and their baked products were delicious!
The purpose of the event was not just to eat delicious cakes, but also to continue the momentum for building a Complementary Basic Education CBE model that meets the needs of all out-of-school youth in Malawi. Those youth include students with disabilities, young mothers, orphans and other children who struggle to attend mainstream school. Link Malawi’s model was piloted with 6,300 participants (5,250 girls, 1,050 boys) in Lilongwe urban, Dedza rural, and Mchinji rural districts of Malawi and has demonstrated excellent results.
77% of girls improved their reading and numeracy levels
Alongside the literacy (in Chichewa and English), numeracy and livelihoods education delivered in community-based learning centres, Link also worked with two partners (Supreme and Cumo) to support the learning of vocational skills in sewing, barbery, baking and financial skills. 1,902 learners transitioned to entrepreneurship skills training, and 1,115 into vocational training. Those under 16 years (1,262) were supported to return to primary school, where they could enter into standard grade five.
With TfaC, another partner, TEAM also developed a sexual reproductive health and rights’ curriculum delivered through Girls’ Clubs. These provide safe spaces for girls to interact and learn informally and to improve their knowledge and understanding of these issues. The project promoted good safeguarding practices and built the capacity of community and district structures to help report abuse experiences and support the children. A member of the club said this, “The project has equipped us with knowledge so that we delay in getting married … and we can protect ourselves.”
Principal secretary for Basic Education Dr. Racheal Chimbwete thanked Link Malawi and partners for their support in increasing literacy and numeracy levels and commended the project for taking an inclusive approach by ensuring that the most marginalised learners are given another chance to learn and acquire social economic skills. The project shared a list of recommendations on how Malawi can deliver a more inclusive non-formal education strategy. We hope the Ministry will now be better equipped to support quality education and more opportunities for all Malawi’s youth.
See here a short video about the TEAM Girl Malawi project.
“These learners have moved on to undertake other activities towards becoming transformed citizens and also earning a living in the community, but also changing the communities they live in”
Harold Kuombola, Country Director for Link Community Development Malawi