Towera and Maphatso have a new school—and hope for the future.
Not long ago, going to school for Towera and Mphatso meant sitting on the dirt floor of a shack with a leaky roof. In the rainy season—peak tobacco leaf-picking season—their families could either:
Put them to work in the fields,
or send them to school, where they would sit in mud.
Lack of a quality education in a safe environment continues to be just one of the challenges facing children in Malawi, and just one of the drivers of the country’s incidence of child labour.
- In Malawi, over 1.4 million children are estimated to be in child labour
- The vast majority — 98.5% — are working as unpaid family workers in agriculture
- Some children in child labour work with pesticides and perform hazardous tasks like topping, suckering, and handling tobacco leaves during harvesting, as well as handling or grading tobacco leaves in damp conditions or poor lighting or ventilation
That’s why we’re there. We’re working in Malawi’s tobacco-growing communities and with the government of Malawi to help end child labour. For example, to promote education, we’ve renovated Towera and Mphatso’s school, providing desks and chairs and blackboards. And nationally, we’ve sponsored, in partnership with the ILO, a conference convened by the Malawi government—resulting in all parties committing to an action plan to end child labour in agriculture.
Learn more about all of our projects in this country:
- Key Intervention Project: Youth Employment Policy Initiative, 2013-2015
- Child Labour Elimination Actions for Real Change (CLEAR), 2011–2015
- Integrated Child Labour Elimination Project (ICLEP) II Extension, 2010–2011
- Integrated Child Labour Elimination Project (ICLEP) II, 2006–2010
- Integrated Child Labour Elimination Project (ICLEP) I, 2002–2006
- Residents and leaders have gone from accepting child labour, to ending it.
- Families have received money to send their children to the nearest primary school.
- We’ve held campaigns and engaged communities in finding and eliminating child labour.
- We’ve helped identify and address the root causes of child labour.
- Targeted farmers are getting help to improve their livelihoods so that they can both avoid child labour and afford their children’s education.
- Click on a project icon above for even more positive results.