By Maureen Murotho
Blantyre, December 10, Mana: Save the Poor Foundation (SAPOF), a local organisation aimed at improving and enhancing the quality of life for marginalised people through advocacy and community empowerment interventions has embarked on a Retain Girls to School Project, targeting girls who dropped out amidst COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking during an Integration Forum meeting in Blantyre on Wednesday, SAPOF Executive Director, Alice Chiwaya said the project also intends to popularise policy standards and guidelines in the education sector in Blantyre district and contribute towards the reduction of school dropout among girls in the area of Traditional Authority (TA) Somba in the district.
“The project will be called ‘Keeping girls in school to educate more girls in Blantyre District (KEEP4MEG) project and will be implemented as a pilot project with funding from National Democratic Institute,” said Chiwaya.
Chiwaya added that positive outcomes that shall be registered will build a project to be scaled out in the remaining TAs in the district.
Blantyre District Director of Planning and Development, Tamanya Harawa, commended the initiative and welcomed the development.
“This is a very good initiative since they are promoting evidence based issues. As a council, we are yet to learn from them on how they will tackle such issues and bring change in the district,” said Harawa.
According to a 2020 Rapid assessment on child marriages, teenage pregnancies and early marriages about 44, 874 teenage pregnancies and 12, 995 child marriages were respectively recorded during the six months closure of schools as a result of COVID-19 spread.
The project will run from November, 2020 to January, 2021.
It targets groups such as parents, guardians, learners who dropped out of school, community and school structure.