As a field coordinator for an agency dedicated to empowering women and children, Phillipina Nkota is passionate about teaching young people how to stand up to violence and abuse. Every week Nkota and her colleagues, who work for Ujamaa Pamodzi Africa, a non-government organization, visit primary schools in Mangochi.
Masuku Primary School is located near the Chiponde Mozambique border in Mangochi district. The school has a population of 2000 students, who attend the school from nearby villages. One of these students is Amina Banda (not her real name). She lives with her grandmother in Nakapa village along with her two siblings.
Fabio, 3, likes to sing songs in English. He also likes to count. “One! Two! Four! Five! Five!” he says. The little boy learned the language in an institution for orphaned and vulnerable children. But he has been home with his family for five months now and is settling right back in.
It is mid-morning in Mangumba village in Zomba, Southern Malawi, and Neverson Nazombe’s day is off to a good start. An hour before, he set up a health clinic under a tree and asked mothers from the surrounding houses to join him with their children, under the age of five. About 20 women came.
Chimwemwe Phiri, 12, loves to read. But because her school doesn’t have a library, she has to walk for two hours to reach the nearest library where she studies and borrows books. Her school doesn’t have enough classrooms either so many of the children take their lessons outside.