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Teams Advancing Women in Agriculture recently partnered with a Canadian based charity, Women Helping Women Canada, in its drive to improve socio-economic status of vulnerable women and girls in rural Malawi. Through its Strengthening Agricultural Livelihoods for Girls Education (SALGE) program, WHW will support over 100 women to access improved agricultural extension services, enhance collective leadership capacity, and increase household income and nutrition status.The project will keep 40 girls in school who otherwise would have no means of education support. Learn about the magic of soybean value addition. More on www.womenhelpingwomen.ca
Education in rural Malawi is increasingly becoming more challenging due to deteriorating infrastructure and learners’ demand for better standards. This is amidst a myriad of reasons that have rocked the education sector. Keeping learners motivated is one of the most critical aspects for realizing high learner retention, less drop-out and increased completion rate. This is not withstanding that teachers have a pivotal role to play in all this. The Girl Inspire Initiative, a program of Teams Advancing Women in Agriculture (TAWINA), is expanding education opportunities for rural girls in various ways. One is introduction of chess as a tool for achieving academic excellence. Since its inception in October 2014, 4 schools and Bwalo la Atsikana have benefitted in Mzuzu City. In Dowa, 2 schools have established chess clubs. A total of 140 students are now playing chess with emphasis on improving their performance especially in science subjects.
There are more compelling revelations are that sustainable global economic development will only be realized if girls are brought into the equation. Anne Firth Murray and many others note that girls education is not just a matter of economic policy but also a human rights issue. Thus, the Girl Inspire Initiative for Teams Advancing Women in Agriculture which aims to improve rural girls’ education is premised on this.
The project’s two outputs are (i) increased capacity of vulnerable and marginalized rural girls to attain secondary education and (ii) community structures actively and constructively engaged in education governance and management. The two year project targets schools in Dowa, Lilongwe Rural, Ntchisi and Mzimba.
No-one can any longer afford to sit back and believe someone is doing something about it. Girls’ business is now everyone’s concern. This is more true in Malawi where over 50% of the population are children with about half of them being girls. In a country where about 49% of girls marry by age of 18 and maternal mortality is among the highest in the world, surely you cannot continue to think somehow something will change the situation. You must act NOW.
Teams Advancing Women in Agriculture (TAWINA) supports rural girls’ education through establishment of Community Based Education Support Schemes (CBESS), advocacy campaigns and competitions. Our direct interventions include paying of school fees for needy students, psycho-social support and integrated community empowerment projects.
The organization has over 200 girls benefiting from its education fund through education support, mentoring opportunities, skills development and sports.