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MOTHER GROUP IGNITES VIOLET'S JOURNEY BACK TO SCHOOL AFTER TWO YEARS FROM DROPPING OUT

THROUGH ; Improving Education Quality in Community Day Secondary Schools ( IEQ - CDSS )

This Project is sponsored by: The Mastercard foundation and Echidna Giving

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  • MOTHER GROUP IGNITES VIOLET'S JOURNEY BACK TO SCHOOL AFTER TWO YEARS FROM DROPPING OUT
  • MOTHER GROUP IGNITES VIOLET'S JOURNEY BACK TO SCHOOL AFTER TWO YEARS FROM DROPPING OUT
  • MOTHER GROUP IGNITES VIOLET'S JOURNEY BACK TO SCHOOL AFTER TWO YEARS FROM DROPPING OUT
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Poverty remains one of the major constraints to accessing quality education for many children in Malawi especially in the rural areas. Many parents who barely afford to provide for their children with school necessities including tuition fees end up having their children dropping out of school when they reach secondary school level. For girls, this becomes a much bigger challenge as some parent's resort to handing them over to early marriages which puts them at risk of abuse, complicated delivery after pregnancy and marinating the poverty cycle. As such, Creative Centre for Community Mobilization (CRECCOM) is implementing Improving Education Quality in Community Day Secondary Schools (IEQ CDSS) project in Thyolo, Ntchisi, Mulanje and Chitipa districts with the aim of empowering and mobilizing the communities and schools to actively participate in improving education standards despite such challenges.

One of the activities which the project conductedwas the training of mother group committees. Among other things, CRECCOM equipped the mother groups with knowledge and skills on how they can motivate and support girls who dropped out of school so that they can be readmitted and continue pursuing their career dreams. This initiative has proved to be a success as it has been reflected in the life of a 17-year-old Violet Harry of GVH Mlomba, T/A Nkanda in Mulanje district. Violet comes from a family of 4 children which is poverty stricken and being raised by the mother only. Violet's father divorced her mother when she was in standard 1. Since then, Violet depended on doing piece works with her mother to support her primary education till she reached standard 8 in 2015. "Penabe ndimalephera kupita ku sukulu; kugwira ganyu kuti chakudya chisatisow"e (Sometimes I used to abscond from school and go for piece works in order to find food) Violet explains.

The head teacher kindly paid the examination fees for Violet and she was one of the 3 girls at her school who passed the primary school leaving certificate. She was then selected to Mulomba CDSS in 2016 but her mother could not afford to pay for her school fees. Violet then dropped out of school and was just staying at home for 2 years. In 2018, the Mulomba mother group with the motivation from CRECCOM through trainings under IEQ CDSS project approached Violet's mother and talked to Violet on a need to return to school. One of the members of the mother group Mrs Elizabeth Muhasuwa explains: "Sitikanatha kumusokolola mwana kuchokera kunyumba kwawo, ndikubwelera ku sukulu koma a CRECCOM atatiphunzitsa, tinaona kuti nkosavuta mother group kumubwezeretsa mwana wa nzako ku sukulu" (Initially, we wouldn't get a drop out child from her home to get back to school until CRECCOM trained us and we realized how easy it is for mother group to do that). The mother group pledged financial support for her secondary education and this ignited Violet to get back to school. She was then readmitted at Mulomba CDSS where she restarted the form 1 class.

Violet is now happily pursuing her dream of becoming a teacher when she finishes school. She is a product of community's involvement in social development following CRECCOM's community mobilization efforts.

Story By: Blessme Phiri