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  • DAPP is implementing 16 projects within education, health, agriculture and community development in 15 districts that span across the country's 3 regions

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Keeping vulnerable children in school

Keeping vulnerable children in school

 

For Olivia Muhehe, 14, like most people with albinism in Malawi, her life is always in danger. She almost gave up on school. Most of her friends discriminated against her and bullied her on grounds that she was differentFor Olivia Muhehe, 14, like most people with albinism in Malawi, her life is always in danger. She almost gave up on school. Most of her friends discriminated against her and bullied her on grounds that she was different. It made her feel more vulnerable than ever.
"Those who were most extreme went as far as throwing stones at me," narrates the Standard Six pupil at Goliati Primary School of Thyolo. "The thought of going to school started waning because of the experiences I always had to go through." Stories are rife in the southern region of Malawi of ritual killings of albinos. The President of the Republic of Malawi His Ex. Arthur Peter Mutharika and other high ranking personalities have intervened with a media call asking people to protect the people with albinism.

The teachers who have been trained at the techer training colleges run by Development Aid from People to People Malawi (DAPP Malawi) have brought strength in promoting inclusive education in the various schools in the Southern Region where they work. Now, Olivia Muhehe can afford a smile. She is now free and happy to interact with others without fear of stigma or discrimination.

DAPP Malawi is implementing various projects in the fields of agriculture, health, child aid and education in Olivia's district. For education, a branch which Olivia and several other pupils in the districts of Thyolo, Chikhwawa and Mulanje are beneficiaries, DAPP Malawi has brought a project which seeks to integrate child friendly education, social inclusion as well as making education enjoyable for the learners through making them central to the learning process.

The goal is to make sure that children enjoy the learning process. DAPP Malawi’s teacher training colleges, for example emphasize on the need for teachers to fit in well in various communities, to approach the community with development elements and support the people in the community to stick together to come up with solutions to solve their own problems. In addition, the project also provides for user friendly toilets for girls. This is crucial especially when girls are undergoing their menstruation periods.

Enjoy Learning as a concept is breaking new ground as it is bringing on board elements of agriculture in children’s education therefore directly addressing malnutrition and helping vulnerable children to remain in school. The school vegetable gardens are a true testimony to such developments.

Teachers, in collaboration with their students, have been able to start growing vegetables and the schools have been able to provide knowledge on smallholder vegetable gardens.

For example, Victor Maone - 12 year-old and Standard Four -, thanks to DAPP Malawi, has a small vegetable garden at home that he is tending to. The garden is not just able to support his family with essential nutrition, but also able to support them with extra income. "I'm able to get nutritious vegetables for me and my family," says Maone." In fact, my parents are able to prepare food for me and my siblings each day before I go to school. That makes me happier!'

Success of The Enjoy Learning program do not only reside in investing in human resources, but also in finding ready partners, who are prepared to come on board and support expansion of such initiatives in Malawi’s deserving communities.

But to sum it all up, Olivia agrees that for her to get to her dream job - which is to become a nurse -, the future belong to inclusive learning and acceptance which is crucial in creating an enabling environment especially in education.

September 2016

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DAPP Malawi
Plot No. BE 314, Salmin Armour Road
Ginnery Corner, Blantyre

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