News from the Field
Keeping Children in School in Uganda
March 7, 2018
By providing education opportunities and infrastructure for schools, the ECLT Foundation supports children to stay out of child labour and learn skills that will help them find decent work in the future. Education is a basic right for children, but the most recent statistics from the ILO show that there are over 152 million children in child labour and nearly one third of them are completely outside of the school system.
Through our REALISE project in Uganda, the ECLT Foundation worked to ensure that families could send their children to school and not to work in the fields. From 2013 to 2017, ECLT worked with our implementing partners, UWESO, to reach children from over 18,000 households in the Hoima district with:
School supplies for 5,700 children – Children need the right supplies, like pencils, paper and books, to study and do their homework. ECLT provided materials and school uniforms so that children can focus on learning.
36 classrooms built or renovated – The REALISE project gave communities the means to build or renovate their classrooms so that children and teachers can work in a safe and proper environment.
11 borehole wells and 7 toilet facilities for clean water – Sanitation is crucial to make sure that children, teachers and community members stay healthy. Clean water and proper toilet facilities benefit children attending the school as well as the entire community.
Over 26,000 households trained on sustainable ways to generate income – When parents can provide for basic family needs and pay school fees, they are able to send their children to school instead of to help in the fields. The REALISE project trained parents on skills like bee keeping, animal rearing, poultry, and energy saving technologies, which help them meet their families’ needs.
A one-of-a-kind roadmap to address root causes of child labour– The ECLT Foundation was proud to support the Government of Uganda, Employers, Workers, District Leaders and Community Members to launch the District Action Plan on Child Labour – the first of its kind throughout the sub-Saharan region – to effectively address the root causes of child labour under the Ugandan National Action Plan to Eliminate the Worst Forms of Child Labour.
Ensuring that children have the opportunity to learn and develop is at the heart of ECLT’s work. The ECLT Foundation remains committed to working with all stakeholders, including governments, workers, employers, communities farmers and children themselves, towards sustainable change in rural communities where tobacco is grown in Uganda
‘REALISING’ Change for Children and Families in Uganda
December 22, 2015
2015 marks the halfway point for the Realizing Livelihoods Improvement through Savings and Education (REALISE) Project in Uganda, and it is on track to meet the established goals: providing children and families from over 18,000 households in tobacco-growing communities with reliable access to:
- Basic services,
- Quality education
- Sustainable ways to generate income and meet their diverse needs
The REALISE Project runs from 2013 until 2016 in the Hoima District in Uganda, where almost 13% of households grow tobacco and 8,000 children have been identified as being affected by child labour. The ECLT Foundation and its partner organization, the Uganda Women’s Effort to Save Orphans (UWESO), seek broad engagement, working with tobacco and other agricultural companies, national and local government officials, and of course the communities themselves, for sustainable impact. By doing so, the REALISE Project will reach 55,000 people through services for children and their families.
This year, the REALISE Project team has conducted a midterm assessment of the project to take stock of the progress already made, see what is going well, and identify how to improve where needed.
How are things progressing?
Based on desk research, in-depth interviews, and site visits, the assessment shows that the REALISE Project is well on the way to meet or beat expected results by 2016. The project addresses child labour in tobacco growing in a variety of tangible ways, which are in line with Uganda’s National Action Plan. These include making sure children have access to quality education, vocational training, and basic services; encouraging the creation of Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs) for communities to grow economically; and providing specialized support services for children withdrawn from child labour.
Success highlights from the assessment include:
Education and training
- Local school authorities have reported that there is higher enrolment at the 14 targeted schools because of the REALISE Project. The community is already three-fourths of the way toward the goal enrolment of 5,700 children.
- The attendance rate of children from tobacco-growing households went from 77% in 2012 to 85% in 2014 – double the increase seen in children not from tobacco-growing households.
- 240 former child labourers did vocational training, learning skills like sewing and model farming, and 180 children and youth were matched up with local artisans as apprentices. The REALISE Project continues to work to ensure that these children do not fall back into hazardous work situations.
Services and support
- Better water, sanitation, and infrastructure – like classroom floors, toilets, and wells – have been used by over 5,800 children, already exceeding the goal for the end of 2016.
- Parents, teachers, and students have been trained on child labour and how to support children who are withdrawn from it. Over 80% of the training goals have been met and peer-to-peer counselling sessions have begun.
Strengthening household livelihoods
- 376 VSLA groups have been formed and have held start-up meetings specifically for households with child labourers. This is almost 65% of our target for 2016.
- The VSLA groups have over 11,000 members. About 7,000 have been trained and have already started sustainable income-generation activities such as poultry, animal rearing, and bee keeping.
- More than 375 “Community-based Trainers” have received trainings to support their VSLA groups, and almost 7,000 parents and caregivers have been trained on life skills, like nutrition, hygiene, health, and family finance.
The midterm assessment has also highlighted some key areas to strengthen to ensure that the REALISE Project will be as successful as possible:
Continued multi-stakeholder engagement. Moving forward, the REALISE Project looks to intensify involvement of tobacco companies and other agricultural sectors, like corn, rice, and beans, as well as government leaders at all levels, from national to villages. Having a consistently coordinated approach allows for maximum efficiency, impact, and sustainability of the efforts to decrease child labour in agriculture in general.
Building capacities further. The assessment has shown the need for more training on the ground, so that members of tobacco-growing communities become leaders and trainers in their own right.
- For the Village Savings and Loans Associations, more Community-based Trainers will be given the skills to help the other group members successfully use and repay their loans.
- Local Child Protection Communities (CPC) will be offered strategic guidance to develop concrete goals. Bicycles will be provided for CPCs so that they can easily move around communities that are spread out.
- Further support will be given to parents of children benefiting from the REALISE Program to raise awareness about the negative effects of child labour and strengthen parenting skills.
Find out more:
WATCH the video on how the REALISE works with children and families in tobacco-growing communities in Uganda.
Taking Stock in the Fight Against Child Labour in Agriculture in Malawi
National stakeholders take part in two days of roundtable discussions on child labour in Malawi
Started in 2011, the ECLT Foundation-supported Child Labour Elimination Actions for Real Change (CLEAR) Project is slated to end on December 31, 2015. Run locally by ECLT Foundation partners Save the Children Federation Malawi, Inc.; Creative Centre for Community Mobilization (CRECCOM); Total Land Care (TLC); and Youth Net and Counselling (YONECO), and implemented in close partnership with the government of Malawi, the tobacco sector, trade unions, the employers association, and the International Labour Organization, the project has contributed to a better life for thousands of children and families across the country.
On December 3-4, 2015, more than 80 representatives from these stakeholder groups came together in Lilongwe, Malawi, for a social dialogue to review the impact of the CLEAR Project, take stock of the progress made since the 2012 Malawi National Conference on Child Labour in Agriculture, and plan ways forward and discuss a potential new phase of the CLEAR Project in 2016.
“Child labour is a complex issue and it requires a multi-pronged approach,” stated Principal Secretary for Labour and Manpower Development Patrick Kabambe, as he opened the roundtable discussions and expressed his wish to “hear from and engage with all key stakeholders” about best practices that are having an impact in the fight against child labour in Malawi.
The broad discussions at the roundtable revealed several key takeaways, including an announcement from the Ministry of Labour that the national Child Labour Policy of Malawi would be submitted to the President for approval in the coming weeks, as well as an update on efforts currently underway on the national Child Labour Survey.
Further, as the current National Action Plan (NAP) on Child Labour is also coming to a close in 2016, the roundtable provided an opportune moment for the various stakeholders to come together in a tripartite approach to reiterate the importance of the role of the National Steering Committee on Child Labour to build on this dialogue and discern a new path forward in 2016.
Tying together the conversations over the course of the two-day event was the emphasis on working together across sectors. Barbara Martellini, Assistant Vice President of Corporate Affairs at Universal Leaf Tobacco Company and ECLT Foundation board member, noted that both the foundation and the tobacco sector have seen progress through efforts like the CLEAR Project, but that it is not the time to “sit back and simply say we are done.”
Collaboration is key
A continued commitment to finding a “collaborative way forward” was shared and voiced by several key stakeholders.
“Raising awareness in communities and continuing to come together to implement joint projects is key to break down physical, psychological, and social barriers put up by child labour,” said Matthew Pickard, Save the Children’s Malawi Country Director.
Stanley Phiri, the Director for Child Protection at Save the Children, further highlighted the ongoing need for coordination of diverse resources, including financial, technical, and political. Looking forward, he expressed his hope for a strong commitment of the National Steering Committee to provide ongoing leadership and leverage resources needed to continue an effective fight against child labour.
Representatives from Malawi’s social partners, the Employers Consultative Association of Malawi and the Malawi Congress of Trade Unions, further called for continued and intensified efforts to combat child labour in agriculture in Malawi and made strong recommendations for education and vocational training for children and decent employment opportunities in communities as a key strategy in the ongoing fight against the root causes of child labour.
Capitalizing in positive momentum
The roundtable also provided the opportunity to share information from an independent evaluation of efforts from the five-year CLEAR Project. IMPAQ International, a US-based evaluation firm specializing in program evaluation and policy analysis, conducted a comprehensive evaluation of the CLEAR Project in order to present lessons learned, identify good practices, and acknowledge challenges. Full findings from the study will be ready in 2016, but Dr. Ye Zhang and Lauren Lochocki presented some initial results during the first day of discussions.
Of note, IMPAQ’s preliminary findings showed positive results in key areas like school enrolment and targeted interventions like Village Savings & Loan efforts.
In addition to IMPAQ’s presentation, a report on the “Findings & Recommendations” from the CLEAR Project’s pilot Decent Youth Employment Initiative, which resulted from the 2012 Conference, noted several recommendations to the national Steering Committee for broadening strategies under the NAP on addressing issues of Hazardous Child Labour in agriculture supply chains.
Specifically, the report highlighted areas of collaboration with farmers and/or farmers associations and reiterated a strong need to standardize a risk assessment methodology training for farmers and advocated for specific adoption of the Policy Area 5, Section II of the Malawi Child Labour Policy to “Promote the employment of older former child labourers aged between 14-17 years in productive and decent employment, for example, through provision of vocational training combined with training in health and safety in the workplace.”
2016 and beyond
The ideas exchanged and commitments reiterated during the roundtable helped reengage stakeholders and reinvigorate multi-stakeholder actions needed to carry forward the fight against child labour in Malawi.
The importance of the National Steering Committee on Child Labour, under the leadership of the Ministry of Labour & Manpower Development, will continue to play a critical role in 2016 to provide the coordination mechanisms in setting the Child Labour agenda in 2016 and in leading a multi-stakeholder review of the National Action Plan for the Elimination of Child Labour by 2016.
Further, as more key information, including complete findings from the CLEAR Project evaluation, become available in 2016, the ECLT Foundation will continue to concretize plans to support partners and communities in combatting child labour in Malawi.
“The ECLT Foundation continues to be dedicated to helping eliminate child labour in tobacco-growing communities in Malawi through a new continuation phase, which will include projects, advocacy, and strengthening collaboration in 2016 and beyond,” confirmed Velazquez.
Field visit in Malawi
As part of the two-day roundtable, the village of Msanduliza in Malawi’s Ntchisi District prepared a day of celebration, welcoming visitors from the CLEAR Consortium, some who had been regularly working side by side with village residents and the ECLT Foundation staff, who came from as far away as Switzerland.
Empowering children and giving them a voice is at the center of the CLEAR Project, ECLT Foundation Executive Director Sonia Velazquez reminded attendees. Foundation staff had the chance to hear directly from some of the CLEAR Project beneficiaries, like Alex, a young man who returned to his family in Ntschi after years of working on a tobacco farm in Kosungo district, many hours away. Alex, at 16 years of age, was seeking a way to provide more money for himself, his mother, and his four siblings, and he found terrible working conditions, long hours, and low wages.
Alex is one of the more than 15,000 children in child labour who were identified in the CLEAR Project. Because of the project, he had the chance to rejoin his family, receive counselling, and finish primary school. His family also received support from the CLEAR Project, including several chickens, which his mother raises for eggs. Alex, now 19 years old, is hoping to become an accountant and is working to graduate from secondary school.
This is just one of many success stories of the CLEAR Project. Since 2011, the CLEAR Project has reached more than 45,000 children and their families in tobacco-growing communities, through initiatives like better infrastructure and sanitation, counselling and support services, vocational and occupation safety trainings, and village savings and loans associations.
The ECLT Foundation’s Project Representatives Participate in Education International’s African Regional Workshop on Child Labour in Agriculture on the Eve of WDACL15
June 24, 2015
The ECLT Foundation’s project representatives from Tanzania (PROSPER), Uganda (REALISE), and Malawi (CLEAR) joined 31 teachers union representatives in Accra, Ghana, to attend the workshop ‘Developing the capacity of education unions to engage in initiatives eradicating child labour’ from 9-11 June 2015. The union representatives, all affiliated with Education International, the world’s largest Federation of teachers unions were from Benin, Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Togo, Uganda and Zambia, as well as Tanzania, Uganda and Malawi.
In collaboration with ILO/IPEC and the ECLT Foundation, the workshop organised by EI aimed at enhancing participants’ capacity to influence policy and engage teachers’ unions in championing the eradication of child labour in all its forms in their respective countries. ECLT Foundation implementing partner representative’s facilitated three sessions with a view to mutually share good practices, the ECLT Foundation’s projects’ multi-stakeholder approach to child labour elimination in tobacco growing, and to explore avenues for cooperation with national teachers’ unions in the three countries.
In the main session facilitated on 10th June, ECLT Foundation implementing partner representatives shared the education dimension and achievements present in all ECLT Foundation projects with EI African affiliates.
Jennifer Aguti, CEO of Uganda Women’s Efforts to Save Orphans (UWESO), emphasized the education dimension of REALISE, the ECLT Foundation’s child labour elimination project that UWESO is currently implementing, and highlighted these achievements in the REALISE-targeted areas:
- 4,337 children have already been withdrawn/or prevented from child labour and supported to stay in school through the provision of school uniforms, learning materials, educational counseling and guidance
- 9 out of 14 schools in the targeted areas of the Hoima District have improved learning environments through classroom renovations and pit latrine construction
- Children are playing the role of being key actors of change by encouraging fellow children to come to school and conveying the message they have heard themselves about no to child labour, yes to quality education
- Due to the existing collaboration and dialogue between UWESO and UNATU, the Uganda Teachers’ Union and teachers in the targeted schools have integrated child labour issues in their educational work plans
Bahati Nzunda, PROSPER Project, Winrock International Tanzania, illustrated several dimensions in which quality education is embedded in PROSPER. Current achievements thus far:
- Improved learning and teaching environment in 20 primary schools of the targeted Urambo and Sikonge Districts, such as 10 classroom renovations, the rehabilitation of 25 toilets, the provision of learning materials to children, 2151 text books, school stationery, 1018 desks, 400 tables and 400 chairs.
- Training to 20 schoolteacher mentors and provision of After School Program (ASP) and counselling; interschool sports and games bring the total of school children to 3,550
- The provision of scholarship kits (school uniforms including shoes, exercise books, and stationery) bring the total number of school children to a total of 1,800 (945 girls, 855 boys)
- The construction of 26 water wells in 20 schools has improved access to water and sanitation, therefore reducing the number of children missing school in search of water
These measures implemented by PROSPER have improved school attendance and increased school children retention in targeted areas from 42% in 2011 to 78% as of December 2014. Recalling the existing cooperation between the Tabora Regional Teachers Union CWT and member of PROSPER’s Regional Advisory Committee, Nzunda called for further joint work together on awareness raising, capacity building, and advocacy on policy and law enforcement, and on the joint promotion of quality and free basic education.
Finally, Khozapi Mtonga, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer for CLEAR, Save the Children Malawi, shared CLEAR’s approach in achieving quality Education in the targeted areas of Ntchisi, Mchinji and Rumphi Districts. Mtonga shared achievements such as:
- The renovation/construction of 25 school classrooms, the distribution of teaching and learning materials (ILO/SCREAM/TALURA), as well as the provision of safe water and sanitation facilities to supported schools
- Professional training for teachers dealing with children removed from child labour and reintegrated in schools, as well as the referral of chronically absent children to mother groups
- The establishment of 60 literacy and numeracy boost camps targeting reintegrated children to get them up to speed with educational curricula and managed by CLEAR-trained facilitators
The discussions and exchanges between ECLT Foundation project leaders and education unions have been of great mutual interest for both organizations. Teachers clearly play a crucial role in child labour elimination. Among those are:
- Monitoring and recording absenteeism and low performance possibly due to child labour
- Helping withdraw children from work by referring them to relevant social services or supportive community groups
- Raising awareness, organizing communities and instilling a pro-quality education/no to child labour culture with children and their families, which is a fundamental prerequisite for long-term, sustainable elimination of child labour
- Provide the quality education that enables children and their communities to attain their fullest potential and lift themselves out of poverty
The ECLT Foundation and EI will now pursue discussions towards opportunities for enhanced cooperation and potential joint, synergic activities at a national level.
Cognizant of the critical connection between quality education and child labour elimination, the ECLT Foundation has – as of 2013 – joined EI’s call for quality education on 5 October, World Teacher’s Day. The ECLT Foundation recognizes that decent working conditions and quality, lifelong professional training for education employees are a cornerstone in the achievement of universal quality education and in the fight against child labour.
National Sustainability Conference will be held in Dar Es Salaam on 12-14 May to foster cross-sectorial collaboration by sharing good practices and sustainable approaches towards addressing child labour in agriculture in Tanzania
May 9, 2015
The Eliminating Child Labour in Tobacco Growing (ECLT) Foundation is pleased to announce the National Sustainability Conference “Pathways to Sustainability: Together We Can Eradicate Child Labour in Agriculture” that will take place at the Hotel Serena in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, from 12 to 14 May 2015.
The two and a half day conference is being hosted by the Government of Tanzania, Ministry of Labour and Employment, (MOLE), and will be graced by the Prime Minister, members of the cabinet, as well as the Regional Administrations and Local Governments. It will be supported by the technical expertise of the International Labour Organization offices in Dar Es Salaam and Geneva.
The conference has been organized in collaboration with the ECLT Foundation, under its partnership with Winrock International, who is in charge of the management, and stakeholder coordination, seeking to maximize the impact of this high level dialogue. Th ECLT Foundation and Winrock’s long term partnership is centered on the implementation of Promoting Sustainable Practices to Eliminate Child Labour in Tobacco, PROSPER, a four and a half year project, ending in 2015. Partners in the PROSPER project are the Tanzania Association of Women in Environment and Agriculture, and the Tabora Development Fund Trust.
Throughout the upcoming conference, the MOLE is convening other government ministries, trade unions, employers, non-state actors, civil society organizations, research institutions, and the private sector to discuss the issues impacting child labour in agriculture. The meeting has representation from PROSPER project beneficiaries and community members, including parliamentarian children from agricultural communities. Attendees include representatives from neighboring countries and African sub-regional public and private organizations.
A multi-stakeholder committee and subgroups representing the strong commitment to addressing the problem of child labour have worked together to organize the research papers, panels and plenary speakers. The committee will draw concrete recommendations that build upon the experience gained by field projects including PROSPER, and other efforts developed in Tanzania with national and international support and investment. Most notable is the WEKEZA Project with a cross- sectorial focus, currently implemented by the International Rescue Committee and funded by the U.S. Department of Labour for Tanzania. Other experiences of significance focusing on child labour, completed by ILO in activities such as fisheries will be brought to the discussion.
Child labour is a social problem worldwide, and the agricultural sector has the largest number of child labourers. In 2010, approximately 33% of the 44.8 million Tanzanians lived below the national poverty line, and approximately half the population was under the age of 18. Approximately 59% of children ages 5-17 work in agriculture, including farming, fishing, aquaculture, forestry, and livestock.
Child labour in agriculture in Tanzania has been reported in coffee, sisal, tea, tobacco, timber, sugarcane, cloves, green algae, pyrethrum, rubber, cotton, and wheat production. The majority of these sectors will be represented at the conference. While much research has focused on plantations and commercial value chains, the majority of children in agriculture are likely to work in family-based commercial or subsistence agriculture. The active participation of the private sector and supply chains in the conference shall provide a basis for continued public-private collaboration.
The conference programme rests on three pillars, which have been deemed essential to ensure a sustainable path to the elimination of child labour:
- Decent work for youth based on occupational safety and health practices
- Education and social protection for all children under 18
- Strengthening of referral systems and enforcement through decentralization
It is expected that on May 14, the conference will deliver an Outcomes and Recommended Action Items to the MOLE and the Ministry of Agriculture discussing a roadmap for action. Based on a holistic, cross-sectorial approach, it is supported and owned by all involved actors committed to eradicating child labour in agriculture in Tanzania.
Malawi Continues to Struggle In Wake of Devastating Floods
February 13, 2015
Conditional Loan Savings Benefit Children at Mitwigu
December 9, 2014
by Grace Kavishe, Agribusiness Specialist for the Tanzania Association of Women Leaders in Agriculture and Environment (TAWLAE), one of PROSPER’s implementing partners.
In recent light, the provision of small loans has been perceived as a viable strategy for poverty alleviation among rural women. Specifically, those who have been denied access to financial institution loans such as commercial and investment loans. The Promoting Sustainable Practices to Eradicate Child Labour in Tobacco (PROSPER) Project has adopted this strategy as a means of improving livelihoods at the household level by providing conditional loans to mothers. The program began in 2012 when a total of 510 mothers accessed loans from the project after having undergone a training program tailored to their immediate needs in regard to entrepreneurship and business skills.
In Sikonge, a total of 249 mothers accessed conditional loans, 25 of which were from Mitwigu Village.
Mitwigu Village Mothers Invest for their Children
Upon receiving loans from the PROSPER Project, the 25 mothers from Mitwigu Village started small businesses ranging from agricultural-related activities to retail trades. After realizing the importance of generating savings from their profits, these mothers began remitting 7% of their principal loan every month to their group treasurer. In August 2014, the mothers sat as a group and unanimously decided to withdraw 7% of their funds from their group accounts.
- 5% was re-injected into their capital to expand and diversify their small businesses
- 2% was allotted towards providing school materials for their children.
Results and Future Efforts
The Mitwigu mothers group has remained coherent and motivated since its establishment. Working in a group enables the mothers to support each other technically, while developing a sense of togetherness among loan recipients.
- The project expects that the group could become a strong self-help group (SHG), as well as a saving and credit cooperative (SACCO) in the future.
- The PROSPER Project encourages mothers to conduct their small businesses according to initial business plans submitted to the project.
- The project has also emphasized the importance of a savings, so that the mothers can expand their businesses and support their children’s education.
The concerted efforts of both the mothers and the PROSPER Project have yielded fruitful results. The attendance rate stands at 78% as of June 2014, as compared to 42% during the first year of the project in 2011. The target is to reach 1,530 mothers throughout the duration of the project implementation period.
Mrs. Anastazia Mayunga, one of the loan beneficiaries from Mitwigu Village expressed her joy by saying, “We are very delighted by the project support to our group, as now we have been empowered by PROSPER to the extent that we can meet school needs of children on our own, without depending much on our husbands.”
In Malawi, ‘Safe Places’ Remove and Protect Children from Abuse
December 8, 2014
By Karima Jambulatova with contribution from Archangel Bakolo, CLEAR Project Manager.
On Sunday 9th November, the Malawi government opened its first safe home in the Rumphi District. Also known as a “safe place,” it will benefit the community immensely by providing counseling and temporary shelter to victims of abuse.
The Child Labour Elimination Actions for Real Change (CLEAR) project, an ECLT Foundation funded project in Malawi has constructed the safe space. The CLEAR project supported the government of Malawi in developing Operational Guidelines and Regulations for the use of the “safe place,” in order to ensure that the facility and its services run in accordance with the best interests of children it hosts.
The safe place is meant to respond to a critical need to remove and protect children from the worst forms of child labour, including commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking that expose them to severe physical and emotional violence and sexual abuse. In general, psycho-social support and education and training opportunities are sufficient to prevent and withdraw children from targeted areas where child labour is commonly found. However, baseline findings point to the existence of the above-described types of severe abuse in the worst forms of child labour.
In addition to baseline findings that point to sexual abuse primarily of girls working in agriculture, children (primarily girls) working in domestic labour are more vulnerable to abuse due to their relative isolation. Therefore, ILO Convention 182 calls for immediate attention to the worst forms of child labour, and urgent action to withdraw and rehabilitate children trapped in these types of labour.
The three target districts where the CLEAR project is present currently have limited to no facilities and systems in place to rescue and support victims of the worst forms of child labour, including child labour in agriculture, trafficking, commercial sexual exploitation of children, and sexual and gender-based violence. Youth Net and Counseling (YONECO), one of the implementing partners in the CLEAR project, is drawing on its experience and network from similar interventions in Malawi to create the safe places.
Call for Action
The ECLT Foundation recognizes that the establishment of such centres comes with a set of sustainability challenges. Though the safe place will be established and run in close collaboration with the special victims unit of the local police department and government social services, The ECLT Foundation encourages the collective commitment of stakeholders to ensure the effective and appropriate hand over of the centres to the government at the end of the project. The requirements of running the safe place make it unlikely that government resources will be sufficient to administer them indefinitely.
To ensure sustainability of such safe places and all child labour interventions in general, national and local ownership is critical.
As a body that provides policy guidance to support the elimination of child labor and implementation of the National Action Plan to Combat Child Labor, the National Steering Committee on Child Labour, which comprises representatives from government ministries, trade unions, employers, development partners, and civil society organizations, would be in a prime position to guide and address the issue the safe place sustainability, which is in line with the 2012 Malawi Conference Outcome Document and Framework for Action.
The Ministry of Gender that has already allocated a Safe Place Attendant to the running of the safe place, who is on the Government pay roll, and this Ministry has committed more staff that will be factored in the 2015 national budget of the Ministry. The management of the safe place will be the responsibility of the Ministry in some core aspects. This is a unique opportunity in which the Steering Committee might wish to build upon. Other positive examples can lead the way, such as, the Telekom Networks Malawi. One of the largest mobile telecommunications company in Malawi, it gives financial resources to the YONECO run National Child Helpline initiatives.
Therefore, the CLEAR partners and all concerned stakeholders, including the private sector need to join efforts in mobilising resources in order to provide support for the operation of the safe space.
CLEAR Project issues its first news bulletin
February 1, 2013
The publication, which will be released on a quarterly basis, includes news articles on CLEAR activities carried out in three impact districts of Mchinji, Ntchisi, and Rumphi. It is inspiring to read big ambitions by children withdrawn from child labour, and how communities are mobilising themselves through village savings and loan associations to end poverty (the major driver of child labour). Read the first CLEAR Bulletin.