My name is Chimwemwe Phiri. I am a standard 7 student at Nankhali Primary School. I come from Chonchola village, in Tsabango. My mother is a shopkeeper. My school is located in Masakhwa village. Most schools in Malawi have adequate learning and teaching materials. But Nankhali doesn’t have these things.
My name is Alpha Mkandawire. I go to Nankhali primary school and live in Kadzakumanja village, in the Lilongwe district. My parents are pastors at a local church. At my school, UNICEF is helping to construct three classroom blocks. They will include classrooms, staff house, a library and water pumps.
My name is Esther Domoya and I stay in Kazonga village, Tsabango. My parents sell tomatoes to make a living. UNICEF will start building all these structures at the end of July. Things will start going well and this will give us hope.
My name is Innocent Katiya. I live in Tambalale village, in Lilongwe. My father is a primary school teacher. At my school, UNICEF is going to construct three classroom blocks, a library, toilets, staff houses and a borehole.
Rural and semi-urban areas tend to be disadvantaged when compared to their urban counterparts. Poor sanitation, poor hygiene, school dropout rates, and poverty in general, are greater. A 2003 study, Urban-Rural Inequality in Living Standards in Africa, found that living standards in rural communities lag behind urban communities. The study found many more boys go to school than girls. Unfortunately, young girls are married off or remain at home to perform on household chores.
Malaria is one of the major causes of death among children under the age of five. Globally, it kills a young child every single minute and causes 75 per cent of all under five deaths. Malawi experiences more than four million cases of malaria every year. Against this background, the Malawi National Malaria Control Program is working hard to eliminate malaria. The programme is improving access to malaria prevention and treatment drugs, and leading various prevention activities to control mosquito breeding.
The day began as usual. I woke up at 6:30 am to get ready for work. An hour or so later, I arrived in Area 24 to join my colleagues, and try to stop the spread of cholera in the area. Area 24 is a crowded township located on the boundary between Malawi’s capital city, Lilongwe, and the surrounding rural district. Our task for the day was simple: to locate, photograph and mark on a Google map all the nearby sanitation and hygiene facilities including toilets, water points and dumpsites.
Mirriam Samson, an orphan, got pregnant when she was 14 and dropped out of school. She survived on piece work but things took a turn for the better when she enrolled in a Functional Literacy programme in her village. The classes are provided by Adolescent Girls Literacy Plus (AGLIT+) in partnership with the Ministry of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development and UNICEF.
Father Kadzingo, 37 is a priest and youth chaplain for the Roman Catholic Dedza diocese. In the past, youth chaplains used to be older men, but now the church is appointing younger priests who can better relate to adolescents. Perhaps because of his age, Father Kadzingo is passionate about youth issues and his enthusiasm is infectious. He smiles broadly and laughs as he chats outside Ntcheu Parish Church, with a new Chichewa translation of the Bible in his hands.