Changing lives in Malawi

17 August 2018

Funding of more than £1.2 million has been secured by Sense Scotland from the Scottish Government's Malawi Development Fund to continue its life-changing work which supports the development of inclusive education in Northern Malawi.

Over the next four years the grant will fund the charity's 'Promoting Equal Access to Education in Malawi Northern Region' programme. The initiative, delivered in partnership with the Central Church of Africa Livingstonia Synod (CCAP), will improve access to quality education for all children regardless of disability.

Andy Kerr and youngster Malawi

Andy Kerr, CEO of Sense Scotland said: "We have a long-running association with Malawi, and CCAP, developingnew approaches to ensure disabled people are better included in their community. We've also focused on supporting disabled children to attend school and learn more effectively in that environment. I've had the opportunity to see at first hand the life changing work that is done by the partnership, not only does the work ensure equal access to education, but it embeds sustainability and changes attitudes and perceptions of disability.

"We look forward to working with these partners again, sharing our expertise in the field of communication and learning from the skills and experience of our Malawian colleagues.

"We are delighted that the Scottish Government has provided funding and are grateful to the unstinting support of education officials in Northern Region which has, and continues to be, essential to the success of this work."

Andy Kerr Malawi

Skilled and experienced Malawian staff employed by CCAP, the largest provider of education in Northern Malawi, will work with children, young people, families, schools, communities and traditional and governmental authorities to challenge negative attitudes towards disability. They will work across the NkhataBay, Chitipa and Karonga areas.

The programme includes:

  • teacher training to build teachers' capacity to work with integrated classes including children with a range of disabilities such as sensory impairment, physical and learning disabilities;
  • establishing support groups for families with disabled children;
  • promoting an increased understanding of children's rights and developing skills to advocate for disabled children in education;
  • helping families access local grants for school improvements;
  • awareness raising for community leaders to embed support for disabled children and young people at village level and with the traditional authorities;
  • development of accessible teaching and learning materials to provide a basis for further development by Malawian teachers;
  • data collection to provide statistics supporting future planning by Malawian authorities.

The project team will work with colleagues in education, health, social work and community development as well as a range of Malawian organisations to share experience and learning to benefit and further develop inclusive education, children and disability rights in Northern Region.