World Vision Malawi Provides Solar Radios, Bloom Books Worth MK17 Million

By Tione Andsen

Lilongwe, October 8, Mana: World Vision Malawi (WVM) has shown its commitment to ensuring that children have equal access to education amidst the Covid-19 pandemic in the country by providing Solar radios and Bloom books worth K17 million.

WVM Director of Programmes, Charles Chimombo said this Thursday during the symbolic handover of 1,000 solar radios and Bloom books to 16 Area Programmes (APs) for “caregiver home schooling instruction programme” at Mitondo Primary School in the area of Traditional Authority (TA) Chitekwere in Lilongwe.

He said WVM believes that education for children could not wait amidst disaster saying a meaningful solution was greatly needed to keep children busy with their education.

Chimombo added that the introduction of home schooling programme has bore  tangible fruits as children were able to continue with reading and writing despite their schools were closed due to Covid-19 pandemic.

“WVM decided to come up with an innovative way of supporting the  vulnerable communities through building the capacity of caregivers at household level called “Caregiver Home Schooling Instruction programme” as all face to face educational support to learners is left in the hands of parents, caregivers and guardians,” he explained. 

Chimombo said the intervention was directly linking to interventions that the Education Cluster was providing so that parents could provide support to learners while they are listening to the radio and continue to do so even post Covid era.

He urged school management and its structures and caregivers to be resilient to make sure education continues despite the global health disaster in our midst.

The Director encouraged parents to ensure the provision of necessary support and protection to our adolescents girls as the ‘pile-on effect’ of the corona virus and interruption to an education system with already existing problems can have long term implications especially for the most vulnerable.

“There is a real risk of school dropout for children whose basic, foundational learning like reading, writing and languages was not strong to begin with.  Thousands of children who have already been deprived of their right to education, particularly girls, are being more exposed to health and well-being risks both psychosocial and physical during Covid-19,” he added.

Deputy Director School Health and Nutrition, Virginia Kachigunda expressed gratitude to WVM for the timely donation of solar powered radios and Bloom books to schools in their APs.

She commended WVM for the great contribution they have made to ensure that children continue with their learning despite schools being closed for the past for the past five months 

Kachigunda said the gesture was one of the key response interventions to Covid-19 pandemic as articulated in the Education Cluster Covid-19 Response Plan.

“We are encouraging partners to be providing solar powered radios for sustainability as most communities could not manage buying batteries on daily basis. Well done WVM for meeting these simple requirements,” she pointed out.

The Radios have USB port and torch as extra features that can help learners with reading and listening to the lessons at their own time.