In conjunction with our partner, LISAP, Tearfund has been supporting communities in rural Chitipa to protect girls and boys from harmful cultural practices that deny them their rights to an education. The project has been working in this area since April 2015, following a similar successful project in nearby Karonga district.
To date, 139 communities in Chitipa have implemented bylaws to protect children from child labour and early child marriage and over 12,000 people have directly benefited from project activities.
More children are attending school, with attendance increasing from 70% in 2015 to 90% in 2018. Primary school completion rates have increased from 87% to 89%.
Almost 2,200 adults have started new businesses or improved existing ones through participation in self help groups, improving their incomes and enabling families to financially support their children to continue attending school.
One of the mother and father groups that was trained as child protection agents has relected on the impact the project has made so far:
"As a Mother and Father Group, we appreciate the responsibility bestowed upon us by the community to contribute towards child protection through the enforcement of bylaws and monitoring school attendance. The Girls and Boys Empowerment Project has empowered us to continuously make sure that children are in school and that parents and guardians take full responsibility for their children so that they succeed in education. We have noticed change in the students, absenteeism has reduced which improves educational achievements for students."