43% of children are involved in child labour in Malawi, the vast majority of whom are working in agriculture. Children in rural families often work alongside their parents to contribute to their household incomes and meet basic needs, sometimes doing work which is both hard and hazardous at their age.
ECLT in Malawi
In the past 3 years, ECLT has supported over 26,000 children and 15,000 adults access schools, learn about child labour and safe agricultural practices, earn and save money, and improve nutrition in Malawi. Working with project partners with project partners Creative Centre for Community Mobilization (CRECCOM) and Youth Net and Counselling (YONECO), ECLT’s programmes in Malawi tackle the root causes of child labour to bring sustainable change to children and families in rural areas.
Preventing, Protecting & Remediating Child Labour
To support school enrolment and attendance school gardens producing maize and soya beans are providing school children with a nutritious lunch. The programme has also helped children in 16 schools with new school uniforms. For children who have been involved in child labour, over 5,000 boys and girls have received ongoing psycho-social support at children corner centres across three districts. ECLT, along with project partners, continue to promote the Helpline Initiative on Hidden forms of Child Labour to encourage reporting of cases of both child labour and child abuse. Community awareness meetings has led to a rise in number of calls received and of cases reported.
Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs) bring together community members to pool, loan and save promoting steady finances and providing families with a safety net at times of economic shocks such as poor harvests, natural disasters and illness. In Malawi this year, over 100 VSLA groups have been set up comprised of over 1,500 members and are helping rural families to invest in new sources of income, send their children to school all year round and even start their own businesses. Farmers are also being supported by the programme through Field Farm schools which provide training on innovative irrigation methods, farming technology to control pests and winter cropping tactics. Over 100 farmers have benefitted from the training so far this year.
Decent Work & Safe Environments
In 2019, ECLT has continued to support trainings on occupational safety and health, safe agricultural practices and hazardous labour. In the past 3 months alone over 100 parents, teachers and farmers have learned about decent work and protecting children from hazardous labour. ECLT’s projects aim to adopt a holistic approach, giving local ownership to the programmes and bringing long-lasting change to rural communities. Learn more about ECLT’s impact here: eclt.org/impact