Aiming Higher in Malawi

Malawi Heart

The Aiming Higher in Malawi charity project helps to transform the health and education of girls and disabled children in the poverty-stricken third world country.

Each year, the charity organises school visits with teachers, pupils, lecturers and sports coaches involved in many programmes, including:

  • setting up libraries;

  • creating a science laboratory;

  • promoting HIV/AIDS prevention;

  • photography classes;

  • business enterprise lessons;

  • a drama and music group; and

  • organising fun activities including choral lessons and rugby clubs.

The project aims to help empower the young people, in particular girls and disadvantaged disabled children in the region, to stop negative social attitudes, end harmful traditional practices and support inclusive educational opportunities.

Learn more about the work of the project in this short film.

In October 2012, Councillor Jim Logue Convener of Learning and Leisure Services, travelled to Malawi to hand over surplus school equipment and find out more about the project.

Charles Fawcett is the charity's project manager:

The project makes a huge difference not only the girls' education, and disabled children but to the wider communities in Malawi tackling ongoing poverty and disease concerns. Discrimination, harmful practices such as initiation ceremonies, female circumcision, forced early marriages, high infant mortality rates and discrimination seriously hamper the lives of many young disabled children and girls in Malawi.

A groundbreaking partnership was established in 2014 between the council run NL Industries factory in Wishaw, which supports disabled workers, and the Aiming Higher Project. Materials are now being sent to Malawi from the Lanarkshire plant which will be manufactured into clothes, school iniforms, skirts and bedding for disabled children.

Since 2008 Aiming Higher in Malawi has had several notable successes. Strategically the programme supports achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, in particular those directly relating to gender equality, the education and empowerment of females, basic human rights all encapsulated in sustainable developments:

Achievements to-date include:

  1. Establishing 30 cluster-based school partnerships

  2. Targeted and linked support for vulnerable children and orphans

  3. Creating and sustaining 15 Mother Groups who operate in rural villages supporting families to send their girls; as well as boys, to school.

  4. Providing a secure framework in partner Community Day Secondary Schools for girls.

  5. Establishing proactive and committed Girls Go for Health Groups between partner schools in order to minimise; early marriage, pregnancies, spread of HIV/AIDS, occurrence of harmful cultural practices (initiation ceremonies), injustice and violence against females; plus encouragement to be involved in decision making.

  6. Increasing presentation and pass rates at junior certificate of education (JCE) and Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) for both males and females with a particular emphasis on Mathematics, Physical Science, Biology and I.T.

Other recent initiatives include:

  • Wheelchairs for Malawi programme, which supports children from the very poorest rural areas with proper medical assessment, the purchase and fitting of wheelchairs, prosthetics, footwear and crutches

  • Establishing women's Cooperatives from female headed households who are some of the most marginalised, living on less than 60p a day, whose extreme poverty makes them and their girl children vulnerable to exploitation by unscrupulous males

For more information about the project contact:

Charles Fawcett at h.lifestyle@coatbridge.n-lanark.sch.uk

Aiming Higher in Malawi is a registered charity in Scotland (SCO44583).

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