Education Expertise Development Foundation (EEDF) has begun a psychosocial support programme to reduce violence and other problems that affect adolescents in Malawi.

The project, projected to impact over 20,000 adolescents, is designed to be implemented in 16 community secondary schools in Mzimba South, Lilongwe Rural East, Mangochi, and Chikwawa.

The closure of schools in Malawi has led to a number of cases of child abuse at home, with some school-going children being subjected to child labour because there is nothing else for them to do, according to 2020 Help Child International report.

‘These are the children whose parents and guardians have lost their jobs and are struggling to make ends meet, hence forcing the children to help them in doing some small jobs for income’, the report noted.

It is also understood, according to the report, that many young boys and girl have resorted to drinking and smoking.

Deputy Director at EEDF, Jacqueline Chazema, says the MasterCard Foundation and Edukans Foundation-supported programme, seeks to respond to psychosocial problems faced by adolescents.

She said emerging issues like Covid-19 and cancellation of the Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) Examination had brought about psychosocial problems such as fear and stress among adolescents in the country.

‘Adolescents need systematic Guidance and Counselling to equip them with necessary coping mechanisms amid Covid-19, violence and other psychosocial issues affecting them’, Nyasa Times quoted Chazema as saying.

Also, she said after the training of trainers, the programme would be extended to teachers from the 16 community secondary schools.

Source: Nyasa Times

Photo source: EEDF

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