Project Launch: 12-27-18
Somba Village hopes to construct a modern community-based child center (CBCC). In early 2000, the community established a CBCC after discovering that children in the area did not get an adequate start in primary school. They never caught up or reached their full potential, resulting in a poor performance and later school dropouts. Unfortunately, 18 years since its establishment, the center still faces numerous challenges due to a lack of financial, technical, and material support. Importantly, it has no physical modern facility in which to operate.
All programs and services are carried out under a tree with no child-friendly sanitary facilities. There over 100 children under the age of five who are cared for by a limited cadre of community volunteers, most of them are ill-trained. The children are not safe as they play in contaminated dirt, which causes them to develop infectious illnesses. During the rainy season, services are suspended.
Currently, UNFPA and WFP are providing porridge to the center through Mangochi District's Social Welfare Office but a lack of facilities makes the provision problematic. Therefore, the construction of a modern structure will help to ease these challenges and provide a safer and healthier environment for quality childcare.
Project Update: 5-7-19
Girl Child Education Movement (GCEM) has completed the construction of the Early Childhood Development (EDC) Center with child friendly paintings awaiting to be finalised. The ECD center consists of a classroom and office space for the teachers. Community members have contributed maize and soybeans which will be processed into flour for cooking porridge for the children. The project has led to an increase in enrollment with over 100 children registering to attend classes, even though the school is yet to be operational.
Final Report: 11-22-19
With $3,150.81 from World Connect, Girl Child Education Movement (GCEM), led by a YALI Mandela Washington fellow, Marshal Dyton, completed the construction of Somba Early Childhood Development Center in Mangochi District of Southern Malawi. The center has three rooms, two classrooms and a storage room. Completion and opening of the school has doubled school enrollment from 60 to 120 and at the same time freed parents, especially women, to engage in other economic activities as the children are at school. To sustain the project, all parents sending their children to the school will contribute 200 Malawian Kwacha per month ($0.27 USD) which will be used for maintenance and motivating the teachers.