Since 2011, the ECLT Foundation has implemented projects in the Ntchisi District (Central Malawi), the Mchinji District (Eastern Malawi), and the Rumphi District (Northern Malawi). Over the course of four years, 19,000 children were removed from child labour and were given access to education and a school feeding programme. 456 young people also gained access to vocational training on agriculture practices and farm business management. The project constructed 18 classroom blocks and renovated 7 others, and a further 15,000 people were supported and given access to credits through Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs). In 2012, the Government of Malawi committed to progressively eliminate child labour in the country at the Malawi National Conference on Child Labour in Agriculture, convened by ECLT. In 2015, at the project’s end, target goals had been exceeded for every objective.
With the start of a new project in 2016, ECLT continues to support policy efforts – in particular, the future adoption of the Child Labour Policy – in accordance with the 2012 Malawi Conference Outcome Document and Framework for Action. ECLT also advances district advocacy and coordination to translate national policy into tangible benefits for children, while continuing to remove children from child labour and promote decent work for teenagers. As this new project brings more key stakeholders together, ECLT aims to maximise synergies and leverage efforts for a greater impact.
WHO BENEFITED FROM ECLT
PROGRAMMES IN MALAWI FROM 2016?
OUT OF CHILD LABOUR
The ECLT Foundation identifies vulnerable children and adopts a comprehensive approach to keep them away from child labour:
- the ECLT Foundation withdraws children who are in child labour;
- it prevents at risk children from entering child labour; and
- it protects children oflegal working age from tasks that are harmful to their health, safety and well-being.
Children withdrawn from child labour
and enrolled in school
"My dream to become a teacher is now on course."
By providing education opportunities and infrastructure for schools, the ECLT Foundation helps give children a better chance to succeed in life – a means to escape poverty, training for a job that uses their gifts and talents, and someday, an income to support their own children so that they can end the vicious cycle of child labour.
Children receiving school meals
School gardens play an important role in promoting school retention, good nutrition, and livelihood skills for children.
TARGET (June 2018)
Teens who are in or have graduated from vocational training
In 2017, new trainees started vocational courses and will be supported to secure employment once they graduate.
TARGET (June 2018)
No Longer Hungry at School
For parents, school is often a cost they cannot afford; their priority is for their children to eat. Children with the chance to go to school, often do not have enough to eat, which makes concentration difficult. This is why ECLT introduced a school lunch programme with two objectives:
1) to create two gardens in each supported school: one to help pupils understand the production of simple crops, and another to feed the children, located near the school and managed by the community;
2) to improve nutrition and ensure that no pupil is hungry at school by delivering lunch to everyone.
In total, CLEAR II created 58 gardens that are now run by local communities - this made the school lunch programme a success. The programme also encouraged children to attend school regularly.
The ECLT Foundation raises awareness about child labour so that parents and community members know that sending children to the fields instead of schools is a violation of children’s most basic rights.
Farmers trained on Occupational Safety & Health
From 2016, farmers and young workers (legally in age of working), are receiving training on Occupational Safety & Health to ensure that they are not exposed to any hazardous work and that their working environment is safe.
TARGET (June 2018)
ECLT works with communities to build their capacity to withdraw children from child labour. We help strengthen local structures and policies to ensure sustainability, and we facilitate the participation of all stakeholders to create synergies for a greater impact.
From Auction Market to Direct Contracting
Poverty is one of the key root causes of child labour. The ECLT Foundation works with communities to increase economic opportunities for families so they can better deal with this everyday struggle.
Farmers supported with training on crop diversification and/or saving money and accessing loans through Village Savings and Loan Groups
Village savings and loan groups bring community members together, encouraging them to save money for expenses like school fees and giving them an opportunity to receive small loans or gain interest on their savings.
VSLA groups are especially empowering for the women in the community, as they often rely on men for financial support. These groups allow women to access to savings and loans for the first time, and this often leads to new income opportunities.
Farmers supported in improving agricultural practices
Better practices empower farmers to have higher yields, improve incomes and increase sustainability. New technologies and the introduction of other crops, like sweet potatoes, and homestead gardens mean that farmers are more effective and promote food security.
Giving energy-saving stoves to households mean that families use less wood and spend less time cooking. This is particularly important for women and girls who often walk long distances for water.
TARGET (December 2018)