Boosting literacy in Malawi through your support
TEMWA Chikwina Library User
We're excited to announce a new grant for a vital education project in Malawi to boost literacy in adults and children.
We've awarded a grant of £3,000 to our newest partner, TEMWA, who work to improve literacy levels in the Nkhata Bay district of Malawi. In this area, only 7% of women complete primary education, and only 3% of women and 6% of men graduate from secondary school (Malawi Demographic and Health Survey).
Illiteracy is a widespread problem and TEMWA run special reading groups for adults and children, Spelling Bee competitions, and camps to improve reading and writing skills in the local languages of Chichewa and Tumbuka, as well as in English.
Emmanuel Njikho, TEMWA Project Officer for Education, said: “Early grade learners spend only 2 hours 30 minutes at school and the rest of the day at home. TEMWA's Reading Camps give them a platform and time to continue to learn and interact amongst other children on school-related activities while outside school. This is done with the help of voluntary Reading Camps mentors, and the platform has helped significantly in improving the reading and writing skills of early grade children in schools."
In Nkhata Bay North District, people live in villages scattered along the lakeshore and uplands, many of the population can only be reached by foot or by boat, and consequently are neglected by limited government services. The majority find it difficult to access education and are geographically isolated.
TEMWA uses a community led development approach to help communities identify their own needs and priorities. They do this through village-level meetings that help communities identify collective goals and aspirations and the steps to achieve them. They don't enter into a new project unless there is community commitment and contribution. Giving communities a voice and space to shape their own future means that TEMWA learns lessons from previous projects and ensure that new projects are needed by communities and can be sustained. Our grant will fund a portion of this large scale, three-year project.
"This Reading Camp is a future investment for my community. If these children advance their reading and writing skills their performance will definitely improve and increase their chances of being educated, a key to unlocking the development of this community" James Desire Chirwa - Reading Camp Mentor
Founder and Trustee of Think Malawi, Steve McInerny, said: “I’m very thankful to our donors whose contributions have enabled this vital project to proceed. Following research on the ground in Malawi, we have developed two key aims: improving results for all school children, and removing the barriers to girls’ education as they are often severely disadvantaged by poverty and cultural expectations.
“This is one of two projects that will support over 6,000 young people in Malawi as they seek to improve their standard of living and realise their ambitions. The £3,000 funding for this grant wouldn't be possible without the support of regular donors. If you would like to join us in supporting these and other grassroots projects in Malawi, please join our Think Malawi Together supporters programme.”