This blog was written with contribution from Khozapi Mtonga, CLEAR’s Monitoring and Evaluation Officer.
Good and evil dead spirits are widespread beliefs in Malawi, and in particular, in the Makanda Zone near the Gwangwa School. Nevertheless, there is always fear invoked when one mentions the Gule Wamkulu, an independent sect in Malawi that represent the world of spirit and the dead. However, when the CLEAR Project arrived in Malawi, people began to realize that they were not “evil” and stopped fearing them.
CLEAR came to the Makanda District with the overall objective of contributing to the elimination of hazardous forms of child labour in tobacco growing areas in Malawi. The project has different structures at the district and community levels, in which it works to enhance full participation of the community, as well as initiate a change of attitude towards the elimination of child labour. The structures, which include the special group, the Gule Wamkulu have also developed mechanisms of raising funds to support their children and identify vulnerable children.
Through project partner, CRECCOM, CLEAR was able to sensitize the Gule Wamkulu on the harmful effects of child labour and convinced them to help the cause using their influence. When CLEAR engaged the Gule Wamkulu as its “special group,” they started sharing messages about child labour and education in their dances. The group has performed tremendously well after their training and also began helping children by accompanying them to school.