Mother Groups      

FAWEMA continues to replicate the Mother Group Concept in selected schools. A Mother Group is a group comprising of fourteen members 10 women, a head teacher,  local leader, Parent Teacher Association (PTA)  Chairperson and a School Management Committee Chairperson. The objectives of the Mother Groups initiative include:

  • To ensure enrollment, retention and completion of education by girls.
  • To raise awareness of communities on cultural practices that have adverse impact on girls’   education.
  • To promote amicable interpersonal relationship between mothers and daughters.
  • To advocate for hygiene, nutrition, child rights with special attention on girls and OVC’s.
  • To provide counseling to in and out of school children with focus on girls.
  • To ensure availability and adequacy of hygienic sanitation facilities especially for girls.
  • To ensure teachers’ discipline, incidents of child abuse and all forms of sexual harassment.
  • To Conduct income generating activities for supporting girls’ education.

Gender Responsive Pedagogy (GRP)

Gender Responsive Pedagogy (GRP) project was initiated in Malawi in August 2009, with funding from UNICEF ESARO. Karonga Teachers Training College (KTTC) was identified as a pilot college in Malawi. After the pilot in 2009 GIZ supported FAWEMA to replicate the  project titled “Supporting TTCs to mainstream Gender in their institutions through Gender Responsive Pedagogy’’ in all TTCs.

GRP is about training lecturers and management staff in methods to enhance gender equality inside and outside the classroom. In 2010 with funding from GIZ and with the collaboration of the Department of Teacher Education and Development (DTED), FAWEMA rolled out the GRP training to all grant-aided Teachers Training Colleges  between October 2009 and June 2011

The overall goal of the GRP is to contribute towards achieving gender equality in the education sector in line with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Malawi Growth and Development Strategy.

2009 to 2013 Gender Response Pedagogy (GRP) project impacts

  • The establishment of a gender committee and appointment of a gender focal person in all the TTCs across the country.
  • The establishment of a gender balanced student council.
  • The development of a gender policy at the TTC level.
  • the development of a Gender Responsive Orientation manual for TTCs lectures.

Centre of Excellence

A Gender Responsive School or a Centre of Excellence is a school in which the academic, social and physical environment and its surrounding community take into account the specific needs of both boys and girls. This implies that the teachers, parents, community leaders and members, including the boys and girls themselves are aware of, and practice gender equality. It also assumes the school management Policies and Practices recognize and address the gender or sex based needs of both boys and girls. In addition, in a gender responsive school, the academic delivery, including teaching methodologies, teaching and learning materials, classroom interaction, and the management academic process, are gender responsive. The students, both girls and boys, are empowered to practice gender equality and to protect the democratic and human rights of both genders. The concept extends to the right to  physical environment in the school including buildings, furniture, and equipment that are also gender friendly.

FAWEMA is pleased to say that the first COE is Liwonde Secondary School and was established in 2010.

Teaching Assistants

The project builds upon a feasibility study which was funded by the Scottish Government in 2009. The analysis indicated a need to recruit women into teaching from their own rural communities. At this time, a key constraint on recruitment was their lack of the necessary academic qualifications required for admittance to teacher education programmes.  By March 2013, the Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa (TESSA) Project will have recruited and produced 1000 women qualified for entry into the Teacher Training College.

The project therefore aims to increase this supply of qualified female applicants from rural areas through the Scholarship support. These scholarships provide pathways for rural women to teaching careers whilst remaining in their community. The Scholarship design uniquely combines structured study to upgrade academic qualifications to the required level and supported induction into teaching through school experience as a Teaching Assistant.

TESSA project is being implemented by FAWEMA and the Open University of the UK.  The Ministry of Education through its Department for Teacher Education and Development, is responsible for the provision of overall guidance to the project. The project is being implemented in 4 districts namely Chikwawa, Mwanza, Dedza and Ntchisi; and in 25 Educational Zones.

Tuseme Clubs

Tuseme (“Let us speak out” or “Tilankhule”) is a project that was established by the Department of Fine and Performing Arts (DFPA), University of Dar es Salaam in 1996 as a result of concerns amongst educationalists, parents and other social groups in Tanzania on the unsatisfactory academic performance of girls in secondary schools . Researches confirmed that the poor academic performance of girls and their remedies did not consider and or contain girls’ voices.

FAWEMA adopted Tuseme from Tanzania as a best practice. The broad objective of Tuseme is to empower girls to understand and overcome problems that hinder their academic and social development, give the girls a voice to speak out and express their identified problems, find solutions and take initiatives to solve the problems

These Clubs have proved successful as there has been an improvement in girls performance.


 Project Overview

In a bid to help adolescent school girls overcome the challenge of management of menstruation issues, FAWEMA in collaboration with WUSC Malawi and financial support from Match International, is implementing a project titled “Community Solutions to Gender Barriers in Malawi” in Dowa. The goal of this project is to improve academic performance, completion and retention of 1500 girls through the provision of sanitary pads in Dowa district by 2014.

The project objectives are to:

  • Provide Malawian girls and women affordable, comfortable and environmentally friendly re-usable sanitary pads.
  • Support the sustainable economic empowerment of women through income generation and empowerment with business and sewing skills.

The sanitary pad project has been piloted in three schools, Mwatibu Primary School, Mwatibu CDSS and Malili Primary School. Because of the positive response these re-usable sanitary pads received at the 3 schools, the project has been extended to Dowa. FAWEMA, in collaboration with WUSC and with financial support from Match International is planning to implement the project in 6 other schools in Dowa district.

In this project FAWEMA is working with Mother Groups who sew and sell sanitary pads for a profit and re-invest a portion into providing needy girls with the product. The model was tested at Liwonde CDSS, and there was a noticeable improvement in both the performance and retention of girls in school who had access to the re-usable sanitary pads.


Sample of the sanitary pad.



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