Fawema initiates SMS project to address Malawi girl-child abuse

Forum for African Women Educationists in Malawi (Fawema) has introduced an interactive mobile phone text message (SMS) initiative aimed at addressing issues of violence against girl-child.

The project ‘Text for Change’ is a joint initiative by Fawema, International Institute of Communication and Development (IICD) and Edukans, and is currently being implemented on pilot phase at Nkhoma and Mwatibu Primary Schools in Lilongwe district.

According to IICD Country Programme Officer, Judith Schoot Uiterkamp the initiative will allow teachers; parents and guardians use the platform to report issues concerning girl-child abuse.

One of the girls with a placard carrying an important message....Photo Jeromy Kadewere
One of the girls with a placard carrying an important message….Photo Jeromy Kadewere

“It’s a toll free line which teachers, parents and guardians can use to send an SMS to Fawema on issues relating to forced marriages, school dropouts and other challenges facing girls’ education in their areas”, she said.

Schoot Uiterkamp said the platform will ensure efficient data collection on various issues relating to children’s education, adding the project has been launched after consultations with communities.

“With everyone having a mobile phones these days, we feel using SMS will be effective in addressing issues of violence against children as well as some of challenges communities face in addressing them.”

Fawema in partnership with the Association of Christian Educators in Malawi (ACEM) is also implementing a Connect for Change (C4C) Project aimed at using Information Communication Technology (ICT) to improve quality in the provision of basic education in the country.

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