July 2002 – June 2011 Overview
As well as the current CLEAR project, the ECLT Foundation has supported three distinct projects in Malawi. The first, the Integrated Child Labour Elimination Project (ICLEP I) ran from July 2002 until June 2006. Its immediate successor, ICLEP II, ran from July 2006 until June 2010. Finally, the ICLEP II Extension project began in July 2010, and was completed in June 2011.
Project 1: ICLEP I
Project in brief
|Project Name||Integrated Child Labour Elimination Project (ICLEP)|
|Partners||Together Ensuring Children’s Services (TECS); Total Land Care (TLC)Nkhoma Synod|
|Duration||1st July 2002 until 30th June 2006|
|Location||Dwangwa and Ngala Education Zones in Kasungu and Dowa District|
|Overall goal||The overall programme goal was the reduction/elimination of Child Labour in the project areas through implementation of an integrated education, water, health and food security project.|
|Objectives|| 1. To reduce the morbidity and mortality of children under the age of 15 years and women of reproductive age in selected tobacco growing communities in Kasungu and Dowa districts. 2. To provide a sustainable clean water supply for the people of Dwangwa and Ngala through capacity building of its communities3. To create a conducive, equal opportunity educational service tailored, (in close collaboration with project partners) to reducing/eliminating Child Labour among the communities in the Project area.
4. To improve food security, income levels and the use of natural resources leading to sustainable increase in farm productivity and a better environment for the child.
Malawi had ratified all the international conventions dealing with the rights of the child and child labour specifically. Malawi ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1991, the ILO convention 138 on minimum age and the ILO convention 182 on the worst forms of child labour in 2000. However while the government was up to date in signing the international instruments dealing with child labour, there was a need to harmonize the laws related to child labour issues and formulate a comprehensive child labour policy.
The first comprehensive child labour survey was carried out by the government of Malawi with the support of the ILO International Program on the Elimination of Child Labour (ILO/IPEC) in 2002. The main objective of this survey was to provide quantitative data on child labour in order to determine its magnitude and its effect on children’s health, education and development. The survey estimated that there were 3.2 million children working in both economic and non-economic activities. 68% of children were found to be working at the family dwelling or family farm while 20.6% worked on plantations as employees.
The liberalisation of the tobacco sector in the 1990s resulted in a massive expansion of smallholder farmers. This was expected to spread the benefits of tobacco production resulting in the diversification of the economy in the rural areas. The FAFO survey of 1998 showed however that poverty in the tobacco sector was profound with women and children being the most vulnerable groups. The tenant farming system still used in the tobacco sector has not advanced the material prosperity of tenant families. Tenant farmers are mainly recruited from other districts before the start of the season, and are assigned an acre or two in order to farm the tobacco. They are provided with food, tobacco plants and fertilizers for which they have to pay at the end of the season when they sell the tobacco harvested back to the estate owner. Prices of inputs are however often put excessively high, and tobacco prices very low. Most tenants are illiterate and have limited bargaining room to negotiate their final compensation. At the time of ICLEP I, many tenants ended up with less than US$ 50 for a year’s work after all deductions were made. Some ended up in debt and had to stay on for another season.
The tenancy system may create the impression that children do not work. However, in reality, fathers, or the contract holders, have to rely on the work of their wives and children in order to provide an income which can sustain the most minimum of living conditions. A considerable
part of the labour in tobacco production is done by women and children. The involvement of children in tobacco production is extensive. While not technically or formally employed, children work alongside their parents in all activities of tobacco farming including in the use of pesticides and other hazardous tasks. While some of these are viewed as training, a large proportion of the children miss out on schooling. Children above nine years of age are heavily involved in tasks like clearing fields, making nursery beds and watering nurseries, and picking and transporting tobacco.
This information is corroborated by the TECS baseline survey in 2002, where it was found that the prevalence of child labour in the two pilot project areas was quite high. In the sample taken, 30% of the children did not go to school at all. However even those who went to school had various activities to perform and during the peak tobacco season some of them missed school. Up to 77% of all the children were involved in at least one tobacco activity. About 26% of these children felt that they were working under stressful conditions.
Having recognized the extent of child labour in the tobacco estates, the Malawi tobacco exporters formed TECS as a service to the community with the objective of progressively eliminating child labour in the sector. The approach was committed to sustainable development initiatives that were community sensitive and were commercially sound. TECS implemented its pilot project with ECLT funding. While TECS sourced the money from ECLT and coordinated the project, local partner organizations with relevant skills undertook implementation.
1. Cross-cutting and coordination
TECS – Together Ensuring Children’s’ Services – was responsible for the coordination aspects of the project.
Key achievements included:
- The formation of various committees at the school and village levels to manage the activities of the project awoke the community to their own strengths. Village Child Labour Committees (VCLCs) and Community Based Child Care Centres (CBCCs) were established at the initiative of the communities. The committees were an excellent indication of a change of attitudes towards child labour. The VCLCs set up counselling and monitoring activities about child labour at the village level. CBCCs looked after young children when the members of the community were on the farms. This arrangement was particularly useful for tenant families who would normally have taken their children to the fields.
- Similarly, the community initiative to set up a junior primary school and kindergartens also indicated a change in attitudes towards child labour and a recognition of the importance of education for children.
- The project strengthened community structures. The office of the chief from the village to the traditional authority (TA) was utilised for the project. The chiefs participated in the capacity building activities and steered all the other project activities. Successful community organisation was particularly important for construction activities where the community provided the bricks, sand, stones and water.
- Before the project was established, the Ministry of Labour in Dowa received on average 58 complaints per year about child labour in the project area: by the close of the project this was down to zero.
It was originally planned that the NGO Project Hope would implement the health component of the project. However, because of unexpected budget constraints and an internal strategic restructuring of Project Hope itself, it was decided that funds for the health component of the project would be reallocated to support the goals of the other partners.
3. Water and sanitation
The Church of Central Africa, Presbyterian (CCAP) through its Livingstonia and Nkhoma Synods facilitated the implementation of the water and sanitation programmess of this project. The Church is dedicated to addressing health and education needs, and to assist with development issues of all people, regardless of faith.
The CCAP Protected Water Programme addressed this issue by asking communities to claim responsibility for their protected water by choosing people themselves to be responsible for the functioning of the programme and for maintaining well pumps. In order to ensure that the system would be self-sustaining, communities paid an annual contribution for maintenance, as well as providing support for maintenance personnel when repairs were carried out.
Safe and reliable water was a big challenge for both communities both during the rainy and dry season. In the rainy season, the water gets very dirty and there is a proliferation of waterborne diseases. In the dry season, very little water is available and the pools that are left are highly contaminated.
Key achievements included:
- 22,284 people were reached with safe water, based on a target of just 15,000. This means the project provided 100% access to safe water within 500m of all villages.
- There was zero incidence of cholera outbreaks and diarrhoea following implementation of the safe water interventions.
- Children, especially girls, were no longer late for school while fetching water.
- School children’s level of cleanliness greatly improved.
- With the exception of shallow wells, protected water points were repaired no later than 24 hours after breakdown.
- 102 sensitisation and mobilisation training sessions took place.
- 82 shallow wells were dug.
- 11 boreholes were drilled, out of a target of 12. One borehole was not successful as the water table was too low.
- 110 water committees – which included water maintenance teams – were created and were fully functioning.
- 32 people were trained as members of Well Committees.
- Training also took place in Watsan, bookkeeping, and sanitation promotion.
Established in 1998, CRECCOM is a Malawian NGO that implemented the education and community mobilization aspects of the project. CRECCOM’s existence dates back to 1992 when it initially started as a USAID funded education project under the name Girls Attainment to Basic Literacy and Education (GABLE).
Key achievements included:
- 92.4% of school-age children in Ngala and over 93.4% in Dwangwa area were enrolled in school by the end of the project, from a base of 75%.
- 93.3% of pupils in Ngala Area and 85.7% of pupils in Dwangwa area were studying in a conducive learning environment. At the beginning of the project, it was just 39.2% in Ngala and 47.7% in Dwangwa.
- 93.8% of teachers in Ngala and 81.6% of teachers in Dwangwa lived in appropriate and decent accommodation. This represents 31 out of 38 teachers in Dwangwa, and 30 out of 32 teachers in Ngala, who lived in houses roofed with iron sheets and built with baked bricks.
- Communities demonstrated a positive change in attitude towards child labour. These included community contributions in cash towards project activities amounting to US$18,105; the creation and administration of child labour committees; initiating new educational opportunities for their children.
- 60 permanent pit latrines were constructed.
- Six two-roomed school blocks were constructed and eight two-roomed school blocks were rehabilitated.
- One secondary school administration block was built. This consisted of a staff room, a head teacher’s and deputy head teacher’s office, a library, a store room, a cash office and a bursar’s office.
- 11 teachers’ houses were constructed; and 14 kitchens in teachers’ houses were constructed; six teachers’ houses were rehabilitated; two head teachers’ offices were rehabilitated.
- 564 desks were procured.
- 692 pupils’ textbooks were procured, along with 14 teachers’ guides.
- 31 bursaries were awarded to secondary school students.
- Nine school gardens were established; all nine schools received fruit trees and vegetable seeds.
- 73 out of a target of 56 teachers were given further training.
- 169 community leaders, 128 school committee members, 110 estate and farm management personnel and 128 field workers were all trained in child labour awareness. The estate owners and managers supported the CBCCs that were based on their farms by providing food and ensured that tenants with school age children enrolled them in school. The estate owners formed their own committee that inspected the estates for child labour.
- The CBCCs, CCLCs and the estate management committee made a direct impact on child labour because they focused on the children who were already working on the farms and those who were potential recruits for work in the farms.
5. Food security and land resources management
Total Land Care (TLC), implemented the food security and agro-forestry component of the project. An affiliate of Washington State University , TLC operates as a local NGO in Malawi and Zambia.
Most of the food security and agro-forestry activities were organized communally under the leadership of existing village structures (Village Headmen) to facilitate timely and high quality work. TLC provided hands-on farmer training, nursery materials, line levels, and regular field supervision to ensure sound establishment of project interventions.
By the end of the project:
- The 677 irrigation farmers yielded on average 152 bags of 50Kg maize per winter cropping season. A standard household should have 30 bags of 50Kg maize for it to be classified as food secure.
- External wood sources were reduced by 100%. The target of 60% reduction entailed planting 840,000 trees but 2,292,554 trees were planted by 16,936 households.
- Farmers managed to increase mixed crop yields as follows:
- Maize 2000kg per farmer
- Tomato 320kg per farmer
- Beans 450kg per farmer
- Contour ridging took place over 399 hectares, which allowed for greater irrigation.
- 104 gullies were controlled. This reduced the loss of top soil and other soil nutrients, as well as preventing a reduction in the amount of land to be cultivated.
- 179 hectares of vetiver hedgerows were cultivated.
- 297 nurseries were established, 2,351,722 tree seedlings were planted, and 2,292,554 trees were planted at homesteads, roadsides, woodlots and boundaries. Farmers recycled project material such as polythene tubes.
- 677 households were provided with treadle pumps, covering 80 villages. Treadle pump irrigation provides immediate gains to farmers and 131 more hectares were irrigated. The increase in hectarage was commensurate with the increased number of treadle pumps issued and the fact that the community was attempting to maximise the yields from irrigated farming following three years of chronic drought.
- 80 hectares or 2.5 km of stream waters were diverted, which benefited three villages and 25 households.
- 3,025 mudstoves were constructed which benefited 2,601 households. This energy saving technology reduced household labour requirements, especially children fetching firewood, and meant that more children were able to go to school.
Project 2: ICLEP II
Project in brief
|Project Name||Integrated Child Labour Elimination Project (ICLEP) II|
|Partners||Together Ensuring Children’s Services (TECS) Creative Centre for Community Mobilization (CRECCOM) Total Land Care (TLC)Nkhoma SynodLifeline Malawi|
|Duration||1st July 2006 until 20th June 2010|
|Location||Suza and Katalima Education Zones in Kasungu and Dowa Districts|
|Overall purpose||To reduce child labour in the project impact areas, strengthening community response to combating child labour through a series of inter-related community-based interventions that will sensitise the communities to the evils of child labour and improve their livelihoods to empower them to respond to the challenges that poverty bears on them consequently proliferating child labour practices.|
1. Cross-cutting and coordination
TECS was responsible for the overall coordination for the first two years of the project; from 2008 until 2010, when the project ended, coordination was undertaken by CRECCOM.
Key achievements over the lifetime of the project included:
- The prevalence of child labour declined from 57% as recorded in the baseline survey of 2006 to 19% in 2010.
- The ECLT Malawi Steering committee was established to oversee implementation of the project.
- A reporting framework for quarterly, semester and annual technical and financial reports was created.
- External monitors were deployed to monitor the community based workshops and activities. Monitoring was also undertaken by project staff, government extension workers and community members themselves.
- Project Implementation Committees (PICs) were established. The PICs brought together stakeholders from across the project and drew up work plans that ensured targets were reached on time and to budget. They took place every month at which about 40 people attended, drawn from the two implementing districts.
- PIC meetings were complemented by Project Management Committee meetings which set strategic direction for the project, and met three times per year.
- An information, education and communication committee (IEC) was established, which included all partners, to integrate all IEC and advocacy needs. The IEC committee also developed the advocacy plan for the World Day Against Child Labour celebrations that took place during the course of the project.
- The project made significant contributions as a member of the National Child Labour Network , including submissions to reports on child trafficking and the Best Practices on Child Labour Elimination report and a response to the US government’s Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Acts of 2005 and 2008 (TVPRA) report.
- The District Child Labour Committee (DCLC) was created with a specific mandate to coordinate all child labour elimination activities in the district.
- Several thousand copies of the project newsletter “Community Link” were produced and disseminated to beneficiaries, which complemented extensive newspaper, TV, radio and online coverage.
- The project lobbied the Malawi government and parliament on key issues relating to child labour: the Child Protection and Care Bill, which was subsequently passed in parliament, the Tenancy Bill, child labour policy in general and on HIV and AIDS-induced child labour.
Implemented once again by CRECCOM, the education interventions aimed to increase access to, and the quality of, education for children in 33 schools in Suza and Katalima education zones.
Over the course of the whole project, key education achievements included:
- 2,132 children were withdrawn from child labour, consisting of 1,229 boys and 903 girls, with overall enrolment of children at school increasing by 21%.
- Four new schools were built: Madzo and Katsuka in Dowa and Kayereka and Mnguzi in Kasungu.
- Two school blocks were built at Chinguwi school and at Nyagra school, and two four-room school blocks were also constructed: one at Kamaliwa, and a second at Chiliphiza.
- One school hall was built at Kafukule Community Day Secondary school.
- Five teachers’ houses were built, four were renovated and 12 school blocks were renovated.
- Pit latrines were built at Chiwira, Lingdazi and Kaphaizi, and school gardens were created to support withdrawn children. Small grants were issued to support many of these activities.
- Procurement committees were created with over 300 people trained in correct procurement procedures.
- 21 children received bursaries and several received starter packs.
- Awareness-raising campaigns reached about 26,000 children and 13,000 families and nearly 100 community sensitisation meetings were conducted to raise awareness about child labour.
- 31 child labour committees were formed, with a total of 310 members.
- 1,111 community leaders and 660 farm and estate managers were trained in child labour issues, including the causes of child labour, the legal framework in Malawi for combating child labour, and the role of community leaders and farmers in eliminating child labour;
- Theatre for Development performances stimulated communities’ interest in child labour and to identify areas of concern; 24 people were trained in TFD in the final year of the project alone with nearly 2,500 people reached.
- One school started a feeding programme.
- 15 Community Based Child Care Centres were established to provide care for toddlers.
- 121 people attended School Management Committee and Parents & Teachers Association review meetings at which comprehensive plans of action were developed.
- Communities actively contributed to give donations in kind and labour to achieve many activities.
- Sewing machines were distributed to Child Labour Committees.
- Pig feed and medicine were procured and distributed to the 30 pigsties run by the child labour committees.
- Over 200,000 bricks and over 60 tons of sand were mobilized and used for construction and renovation of school infrastructure.
- Over 100 teachers were trained on how to effectively handle withdrawn children.
- Teacher training sessions took place – with all teachers drawing up plans of action – as well as pedagogical review meetings, at which teachers further enhanced their skills.
3. Water and sanitation
Implemented by Nkhoma Synod, the interventions aimed to improve access to clean and safe water in the targeted communities.
Over the course of the whole project, key water and sanitation achievements included:
- The prevalence of water borne diseases was reduced by more than 75% between 2006 and 2010.
- 143 shallow wells were sunk, 3 boreholes were drilled and 15 defunct boreholes were rehabilitated.
- 55 Mark V hand pumps were installed, providing total protection for the wells.
- Five pit latrines were built at one school and ecological sanitation toilets were built at eight schools.
- Chlorination of water from contaminated wells and from unsafe sources was carried out, which reduced the number of cases of diarrhea and helped improve school attendance.
- 118 water management committees and six borehole committees were created and trained on maintenance issues.
- 189 village health committees were formed and 480 members were trained.
- 47 government extension workers were trained in the project’s water and sanitation activities.
- 55 health surveillance assistants and water monitoring assistants were trained.
- 22 people – including two women – were trained in well construction and hand pump maintenance.
- 14 people were trained to raise community funds for the installed wells.
4. Food security and land resources management
Implemented by Total Land Care, the interventions aimed to improve household food security in the targeted tobacco growing areas.
Over the course of the whole project, key food security and land management achievements included:
- 189 community sensitization and awareness meetings were carried out, reaching well over 10,000 villagers.
- 51 awareness meetings on nutrition were attended by 1,433 people and were followed by nutritional training sessions attended by 269 people.
- 16 field days were undertaken on forestry and tree planting that helped farmers better understand certain practices. Topics included natural regeneration of trees, the use of mudstoves to reduce the consumption of wood for domestic cooking, irrigation and crop diversification and sustainable land management practices.
- Communities were trained in conservation agriculture, nursery management and seedling management; training was also undertaken in food preparation and preservation and in small-scale irrigation.
- 812 nurseries were created.
- 4,656 fruit seedlings were raised and planted.
- Over 1.8 million seedlings, including seedlings of Faidhbia albida and Acacia polyacantha for soil improvement, and of bamboo for construction, were raised and planted.
- 32 hectares were covered with vetivier hedgerows to stabilize the soil.
- 18 hectares were pegged with contour maker ridges
- 21 villages were involved in stream diversion and 51 villages were involved in the construction of three small dams.
- 382 treadle pumps and 31 drip irrigation kits were distributed which allowed the irrigation of diverse crops (cassava, sweet potatoes, maize, tomatoes, cabbage, onions, maize and soy beans).
- 210 bundles of cassava, 85 bags of sweet potato, 1050 kg of soya beans, and 120 kg of Tephrosia seed were procured and distributed to villagers in the last full year of the project alone. Training sessions on the production of these crops also took place.
- Farmers were organized into associations to access high-value markets for their products.
- 2,050 wood-saving mud stoves were built in at least 136 villages, where people received training on wood saving technologies.
Implemented by Lifeline Malawi, the health component aimed to improve access to quality health services in the target areas.
Over the course of the whole project, key health achievements included:
- Outreach clinics dramatically reduced the distance beneficiaries had to travel to health services and the quality of health services had improved.
- 33 community sensitization and mobilization activities were conducted on a number of subjects. 172 meetings were held in the final year alone on voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) for HIV/AIDS.
- A new clinic was built in Kasese.
- About 58,000 people were attended by the outreach clinics – with 11 clinics per month in the final year of the project – and almost 120,000 were attended by the static clinic at Kasese.
- Over 5,300 mothers received antenatal education and assistance.
- About 4,200 women received family planning training.
- About 20,000 children under five years old were attended to.
- Over 9,000 children in the last year of the project alone were monitored for growth to assess their nutrition status.
- Almost 12,000 people were tested for HIV/AIDS.
- Volunteers were trained and medical staff attended refresher courses.
Project 3: ICLEP II Extension
Project in brief
|Project Name||Integrated Child Labour Elimination Project (ICLEP) II Extension|
|Partners||Creative Centre for Community Mobilization (CRECCOM) Total Land Care (TLC)Nkhoma SynodLifeline Malawi|
|Duration||1st July 2010 until 30th June 2011|
|Location||Kasungu and Dowa districts, Central Region, Malawi|
|Overall goal||The overall goal of the Integrated Child Labour Elimination Project (ICLEP) II Extension project was to contribute to the elimination of child labour in tobacco growing by addressing the root causes of child labour.|
Again implemented by CRECCOM, the activities in this area focused on capacity building of existing local structures and mobilizing community members and leaders towards the elimination of child labour through education.
Key achievements included:
- School construction: the project constructed two school blocks – thus providing a safe learning environment for over 200 children during the year – increasing enrolment and creating local employment. Local communities contributed MK 240,000 (US$1600) to the construction.
- Rehabilitation of school infrastructure: the project awarded US$3,000 education grants to each of the 33 schools targeted, thus contributing to improved access to high quality education, as well as pupil and teacher retention.
- Provision of school bursaries: bursaries were awarded to 12 promising but very poor students, thus increasing educational opportunities for some children at risk of child labour.
- Improving quality of education: the project conducted teacher pedagogical sessions for 96 teachers, with the potential to benefit more than 5,000 pupils from improved instructive strategies.
- Awareness raising: using community theatre and youth drama groups, the project re-enrolled 25 children and assisted in retaining those already enrolled.
2. Water and sanitation
The interventions in this area were again implemented by Nkhoma Synod.
Key achievements included:
- Year-round access to clean water provided to 833 households in 2010.
- Two boreholes were constructed which provided safe water to 472 pupils and 741 people in 10 villages.
- Two shallow wells were dug to provide safe water to a total of 39 households.
- The provision of clean and safe water was accompanied by the training of community water committees for the repair and maintenance of the facilities at a local level.
- Working together with 42 government community health workers, 6,169 households received High Test Hypochlorite to disinfect water, thus further improving access to safe drinking water. As a result, there were no cholera or diarrheal disease outbreaks in the impact area in the course of the project.
- The project constructed toilet blocks in six needy schools with a total enrolment of 4,100 and a toilet: pupil ratio of 1: 100. In those schools, the ICLEP II project interventions improved the pupil: toilet ratio to 1: 70, slightly below the national education standard ratio of 1:60.
- The improved sanitation in these schools was very important to help school retain teachers, and improve school attendance, especially among adolescent girls.
- In addition, capacity building in Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) for communities around the six schools increased local pit latrine coverage from 60% to 80%, thus extending positive health spin-offs beyond the school environment.
The interventions in this area were again implemented by Lifeline Malawi.
Key achievements included:
- The shortage of drugs in the public health institutions saw project static and mobile clinics reach 94,000 people with treatment, HIV testing and counselling, maternal and ante-natal services.
- The preventive school health programme was extended to all 33 schools in the tobacco growing target areas.
- In order to sustain project impact, the project provided capacity building in the management of integrated childhood diseases, prevention of mother to child transmission and facilitated Under 5s growth monitoring by government community health workers.
4. Food security and land resources management
The interventions in this area were again implemented by Total Land Care.
Key achievements included:
- The improvement of household food security in the targeted tobacco growing areas was achieved through the promotion of conservation agriculture, crop diversification and small scale irrigation infrastructure and technology.
- The project constructed a 10,000m3 dam, thus benefitting 324 households with all-year access to water for small scale irrigation projects.
- 766,000 tree seedlings were distributed and 1,555 brick stoves were constructed to minimize energy consumption and the time children spend on wood collection and also on cooking.
- 50 treadle pumps were distributed to farmers, thus enabling them to grow other crops and improve household food security.
- A total of 63 hectares was put under different crops – such as sweet potatoes, cassava, and soya beans – in demonstration plots in the target communities, benefitting 4,926 villagers in 106 villages with access to modern labour-saving farming techniques, training and cross-learning opportunities.