Archive for May, 2011

Reversing the Tide of School Drop-Outs in Malawi

Posted on Friday, May 27th, 2011 at 8:12 am

Girls in Phombe Primary School, Nsanje District in Malawi, where Concern is supporting the community to encourage the education of girls. Photo: Malawi, Concern Worldwide

By Joseph Scott, former Communications Officer with Concern Worldwide in Malawi

For some years, daily life in the community of Mtumba village in Nsanje district was dictated by the darker side of local culture. Years of upholding traditional practices, such as girls leaving school to get married, produced a vicious cycle of illiteracy that has severely hampered the development of Mtumba as a community. Literacy levels in Mtumba  are very low. In a community of about 1,500 people, only three girls have completed their primary school education.

And, unfortunately, these are now married: “It’s disappointing to note that all girls in our village are rushing or are being forced into marriage,” says Lilian Kastomu, one of the girls who completed primary school but is now a mother of two, adding, “that’s why I decided to join the Mother Group to encourage girls in my village not to make the mistake I made.”

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Empowering Communities to Rebuild their Lives in Chad

Posted on Friday, May 20th, 2011 at 2:16 pm

Paul O’Brien is Overseas Director
for Concern Worldwide

Members of a shea butter collective that Concern works with in Gore, Chad. Photo: Chad, Concern Worldwide

I arrived in Chad last week to meet with our country team, and to assess our programs and the ongoing humanitarian needs in our program areas. Chad is one of the world’s seven least developed countries: it ranks at 163 out of 169 countries on the 20

10 United Nations Human Development Index. The goal of our programs here is to target the poorest communities in the poorest parts of Chad—and I was curious to see how successfully we were doing that. Read the rest of this entry »

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