Posted on Jul 6, 2018
Comments Off on Celebrating the warm heart of Africa
… Malawi celebrates Independence Day
The people of Malawi are celebrating 54 years of independence from British rule today (6th July). They have much to be thankful for and celebrate on this anniversary.
Formerly known as Nyasaland, the country took its new name from the reflection of the rising sun on the waters of the vast Lake Malawi, the “lake of stars”, which has the largest number of fish species of any lake in the world. Malawi is known as ‘the warm heart of Africa’ due to the warmth and kindness of its people. It receives nearly 800,000 tourists each year, who go to marvel at the wildlife at Liwonde and Nyika national parks, relax on its beautiful beaches and enjoy its rich culture.
Malawi has made great strides since emerging from decades of authoritarian rule and underdevelopment – however the country still faces many challenges.
Landlocked with a population of about 17 million people, it is among the poorest and most underdeveloped countries in the world and receives one of the highest amounts of global international aid. Its dependence on aid is questionable with respect to its own independent development. HIV is prevalent and the country has one of the highest rates of Aids orphans in Africa. Academic achievement is very low and is worse among girls. In Malawi less than 10% of girls earn a high school diploma. Approximately 1 in 2 girls is married and or raising children by the age of 18. In fact, Malawi has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world.
Education is a key part of any countries development and the lack of this has been a key factor in the development of Malawi. The country has initiated several reforms and programs to encourage and ensure that all children go to school and receive a basic education.
ACT is making important contribution to the education of children in Malawi, particularly among most disadvantaged, orphans and fatherless children, of whom there are many. More than 90 percent of the population lives in rural communities where access to education can be challenging, not only in terms of the numbers of schools available and lack of enough teachers, but also with regards to affordability. Secondary school education is not free, and in fact is expensive for many in the rural communities. Although the government has declared universal free primary school education, children still have to buy school uniforms, books and parents are required to pay levies for facilities maintenance and other costs. This makes even primary school education unaffordable for the poor, which is majority of the population.
ACT has been working in Malawi since 2007, mainly in Phalombe district in the south east. Our projects has enabled many disadvantaged children receive education with a number currently in university. Our Ulemu project (Ulemu meaning dignity in Chichewa language) focuses on encouraging girls to go to school and remain to completion of their education and achieve their potential in life.
We congratulate the people of Malawi on this anniversary of its independence. Join us in supporting more disadvantaged children so they can receive an education and can contribute to the development of their lovely nation.
To find out more about the Ulemu Project click here.
If you would like to sponsor a child with ACT Today click here.