Relying on adapted quality education to ensure sustainable return to school of child labourers
Providing children with a pathway back into formal education is a critical tool to ensure that they stay in and advance through school and develop critical skills needed for life post schooling. The PROCLAIM project provides tailored educational programmes for children identified as child labourers based on age, abilities, and interests.
Some children join the formal education system with reinforced support, while others participate in vocational training to develop skills adapted to the local job market. School feeding programmes functioning in most of the schools improve both enrolment and attendance of children. PROCLAIM provides the school feeding committees with seeds, cooking materials, and lands to ensure the durability of the feeding programmes.
“I now believe in myself and dream in colour. This VSLA group of ours is helping me and my friends here have assets to our names and improve our livelihood, a thing most of us women couldn’t afford in the past”.
Charity, 32 years old comes from Chilooko traditional authority (TA), Ntchisi. She is married with 3 children. Charity has been subjected to different types of abuses from her husband, due to cultural and social norms. Her household lacked food and other basic necessities and her children couldn’t go to school. With PROCLAIM, Charity joined a VSLA Group, where members of the group started making huge savings and accessed loans that helped them do small businesses.
Charity obtained a loan from the group to buy materials and start her tailoring business. She also bought a pig, chickens and fertilizer for her garden. She is also participating in Farmer Field Business School sessions in hero area which she believes will enhance her skills in agricultural activities which will in turn help her realize more yields to support her family and the rest of surplus to be sold and re-invested in her VSLA. Realizing how things have changed, her husband has now stepped up and has started supporting her business venture and encouraging her to continue participating in VSLA group activities.
Key figures from Malawi
73,382 children enrolled in the 100 project schools during 2022, with 81% of the enrolled children who attended school at least 60% of the time
1,327 VSLA and YSLA groups formed with a membership of 16,951 women and 530 men
5,312 community members were sensitised by the Community Child Labour Committees on the danger of child labour