Fount for Nations registers PIESEA project successes in Dowa

By Vincent Gunde

The Fount for Nations, an organization implementing a 30 months Pamodzi Inclusive Education in South-East Africa (PIESEA), says it has trained 80 Information and education community champions in the areas of two traditional authorities Dzoole and Mponela in Dowa district to lobby for resources centres and assistive devises in the district.

The organization says community champions are advocating against discrimination, negative attitudes and cultural barriers towards children with disabilities and lobbying for funds for IE in their schools from NGOs, duty bearers, MPs and councilors as well as inclusive education added in Village Actin Plan (VAP) and School Improvement plan (SIP).

Connex Kafera. The project will create awareness for the rights of learners with disabilities in schools.


Presenting the project progress report to the District Executive committee (Dec) at a meeting held at the Boma, the organization’s Advocacy and Communication Officer Connex Kafera, said PIESEA will be implemented in three countries; Malawi, Kenya and Tanzania by consortium members such as Rays of Hope Ministries, Kesho Kenya, Shule Direct and Fount for Nations.

Kafera said the project was being implemented with a goal to reduce the policy implementation and awareness gaps that exist between inclusive education policies and programming saying the policy makers and education experts will have real-time data on special needs and inclusive education for better policy decision-making.

He said the Education sector will get increased funding for inclusive and Special Needs education and increased community demand in advocacy and lobbying for enabling environment to support inclusive and special needs education.

However, Kafera said the project had challenges during the course of implementation such as inflation and devaluation of the Malawi Kwacha, transfer of personnel in government offices, giving a space to inclusive education and it took time for stakeholders to understand the advocacy.

He said the project had some lessons learnt such as collaboration and partnership are key in advocacy efforts, working with government structures ensure the sustainability of the project, government political will to address the gaps in the inclusive education sector and a strong drive and willingness on the part of donors and partners to support inclusive education in Malawi.

“There is need to intensify awareness and advocacy for the rights of learners with disabilities in schools,” said Kafera.

He said the organization has put exit strategy of the project such as conducting inclusive education learning visits with Ministry of Education, development partners, and education officials at district level and conducting a regional inclusive Education Symposium with IE implementors.

Kafera said the organization will also conduct closeout celebration, monitoring visits for partners to appreciate what has been implemented in the district and exit meetings with District executive committee (Dec), Technical Working Group (TWG) and Area Development Committee (ADC).

Pamodzi Inclusive Education in South-East Africa (PIESEA) project was being implemented in Dowa district from November, 2021 to May, 2024 with funding from OXFAM and IBIS amounting to 1,147,635.34 US Dollars.