Marist Brothers train students in psychosocial support and skills development

Marist Brothers in Malawi have rolled out psychosocial support and skill development trainings targeting students in secondary schools in an effort to improve the mental health and emotional wellbeing of the learners.

Msalura CDSS head teacher Sharif Phiri–The programme is beneficial to teachers as well–Photo by Watipaso Mzungu

The trainings are part of the ‘Equity of Access to Quality Education for Girls and Disadvantaged Children in Malawi Project’, which Marist Foundation for International Solidarity (FMSI) and Secretariat of Education and Evangelization of the Marist Brothers are jointly implementing to address barriers hindering underprivileged and non-boarding students, particularly girls, from accessing education in Malawi.

Malawi has recently registered a sudden rise in the number of people, including students, committing suicide because of various social and economic problems.

Speaking after conducting training sessions at Msalura and Mafco Community Day Secondary Schools in Salima on Wednesday, Marist Brothers in Malawi Project Assistant Patrick Siwinda said the psychosocial support and skill development programme was initiated to equip students with skills for coping with life situations and also to identify talents in them.

“We are targeting at least 240 students from seven secondary schools where we are implementing our intervention. So far, we are impressed with the outcome of the intervention because we have unearthed a lot of talent among the students,” said Siwinda.

A representative of the students at Msalura CDSS, Lukia Nyirenda, described the training as an eye opener, saying it will help broaden the understanding of issues among the students.

Head teacher at Msalura CDSS Sharif Phiri commended Marist Brothers in Malawi for initiating the project, which he said would contribute towards national efforts to end drug and substance abuse among the students.

Phiri said psychosocial support and skill development trainings have also helped teachers how to handle learners with various problems.

Recently, the National Provincial Councillor for the Marist Brothers in Malawi, Brother Francis Jumbe, assured the District Commissioners of Lilongwe, Dedza, Salima, Zomba and Balaka of their commitment to complementing government efforts to improve the quality of education in Malawi.

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