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22/07/13 11:09

Malawi aid to empower young people

Further £3 million for education, health and economic development projects.

On the ground in Malawi, Scottish projects are working to improve the lives of some of the world’s poorest young people.

Meeting staff today at Tearfund, Minister for International Development Humza Yousaf heard first-hand about their work to empower children in the Karonga region of Malawi to protect themselves against harmful cultural practices, and increased exposure to HIV, and help them boost household income.

Mr Yousaf said:

“When we hear about the adversity that so many young people in Malawi face and the obstacles they encounter every day just trying to get an education, keep themselves healthy and stay safe, it is clear that we must do all that we can to help.

“As part of our commitment to continuing to work with Malawi, I am delighted to announce we are supporting this Tearfund project and a further eight projects over the next three years to work on the ground to make a real difference through targeted education, health and sustainable economic development initiatives.

“I was struck by the powerful and transformative nature of Tearfund’s work; educating and empowering girls to protect themselves from harmful practices such as forced marriage and forced employment whilst acknowledging that boys and the wider community also have to be targeted if real change is to be seen. The project will develop and reinforce community bylaws to protect children from exploitation. The Life Skills Clubs have been very successful and play an important role in providing sexual reproductive health awareness to school children and empowering them to focus on gaining a proper education.

“We have made a solid and unwavering commitment to our international development work and our fund of £9 million a year, £3 million of which is ring-fenced for Malawi, is clearly focused on the key objectives of poverty alleviation and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.

“In this bicentenary year of the birth of Scottish missionary, medic and explorer Dr David Livingstone and our enduring relationship with Malawi, these projects further strengthen the links between our two countries working in partnership to achieve real and tangible outcomes in Malawi.”

Lynne Paterson, Scotland Director of Tearfund said:

"It's fantastic to have this further support from the Scottish Government. It will continue to help us empower and equip over 35,000 children in the north of Malawi to protect themselves from harmful cultural and social practices which expose them to abuse, deny them education opportunities and put them at greater risk of HIV infection.

“This support helps to give these children hope and a future."

Notes to editors

In March 2013, the First Minister announced funding of £4,919,927 (2013-2016) for 15 projects in Malawi, run by Scottish-based organisations with their partners in Malawi.

The further nine projects announced today have a total value of £3,190,865 over three years (2013–2016), taking the total spend to £8,110,792 for all 24 projects. The projects are:

Education

  • Tearfund will receive £397,546 for the Karonga Girls and Boys Empowerment Project to address the problems that are exacerbating the HIV/AIDS pandemic, including: harmful cultural practices; low household income; and increased exposure to HIV.

  • The School of Education at Strathclyde University will receive £399,663 to encourage more trained teachers to teach in primary schools (the current system siphons the most ambitious, energetic and academically-able teachers away from working in primary schools). Scottish and Malawian academics will work together on this project to create knowledge of the course-design features that will work and make a difference in Malawi.

  • Sense Scotland will receive £368,843 to support mainstream primary schools to effectively include deaf learners in the classroom.
  • Link Community Development will receive £399,722 to address the problems resulting from the enrolment explosion in Malawi’s schools. This project will enable the development of training for staff, including inspectors and district education officials to assist them in evaluating, monitoring and supporting school improvement in Malawi.

  • CBM UK will receive £395,192 to help support and increase access to education for disabled children and the quality of education they receive. It will also provide training for teachers and parents on sign language, Child Protection Policies and implementation guides.

Health

  • EMMS International will receive £75,162 to help address maternal mortality and the lack of medical resources and staff in Malawi’s health centres and clinics. The project will aim to increase the number of trained midwives and the capacity of Health Colleges to train clinical officers and midwives.

Sustainable Economic Development

  • Imani Enterprise Ltd will receive £392,937 to provide food security to the Chikwawa district in Malawi to improve livelihoods in the area. This project will use local resources and markets for improved income generation, capacity, health and food security.
  • The Scottish Malawi Foundation will receive £364,458 to help address the inadequate supply of basic electricity available in the grid-remote rural areas, where the majority of Malawians live. The impact of this work could be transformative by establishing affordable accessible renewable electricity.

  • The James Hutton Institute will receive £397,341 to run Climate Smart Agriculture to help combat short-term food insecurity by producing the maximum yield possible with little reliance on external inputs such as fertilizer or pesticide. It is appropriate for Malawi, offering food diversity, fuel, soil health and climate adaptation.

In addition to Malawi, the Scottish Government’s International Development Fund also supports projects in Tanzania, Zambia, Rwanda, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the three poorest states in India (Bihar, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh).

Details of these 24 projects and the Scottish Government’s International Development work can be found through the following web link:

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/International/int-dev/Maps/Malawi