Coexistence- Gateway towards empathy advancement in Education
Training primary school teachers dedicated to teach in rural areas while making them agents of change in the communities where they are going to teach.
About Your Organization
Development Aid from People to People in Malawi
Country where this project is creating social impact
Is your organization a
Non‐profit / NGO / Citizen sector organization
Your role in Education
The type of school(s) your solution is affiliated with
How long has your organization been operating?
More than 5 years
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Select the stage that best applies to your solution
Established (past the previous stages and has demonstrated success)
How long has your solution been in operation?
Operating for more than 5 years
The Need: What problem are you trying to solve?
To advance the promotion of teachers together with community members around schools to create a more conducive teaching and learning environment both within the school and in the community around the DAPP Dowa Teacher Training College which is neighboured by the Dzaleka Refugee Camp with over 13,000 refugees. It is against this background that we want to scale up community involvement (both refugees and locals) towards activating empathy which can not be fully accomplished if it is left to the schools alone. By organising the children in clubs and their parents in groups will equip both school children and the community with skills, values, attitudes and knowledge in understanding the importance of co-eexistence as the gateway towards empathy advancement in education.
The Solution: What is your solution? Be specific!
The student teachers undergoing the 11 months based teaching practice in 19 primary schools surrounding the college in collaboration with the college lecturers, head-teachers and Primary Education Advisors will together create a teaching and learning environment which promotes tolerance, compassion, respect and responsibility for oneself and others thereby enabling empathy to be a natural part of the school environment. The community (parents, guardians, village chiefs etc) will then form groups where they will be trained in various skills such as knitting, sewing, agriculture, garden farming and tree planting. Upon completion of the training the groups will receive a start up package to enable them start income generating projects as per skills trained in. This will then be shared to other schools and communities in the educational division through various fora which will include Open Days, National Day of Education, teachers workshops as well as sports, drama and culture activities .
The Model: Walk us through a specific example of how your solution makes a difference; include your primary activities
The program is designed for young teachers to become highly qualified and trained in professional teaching in challenging local environments as well as in community development at large; who energetically follow the conviction that all primary school students have the potential to become skilled and productive members of society; who are interested in development and have a keen ear for reaching out for future tendencies for the society and for the individual; who are highly demanding as to their own achievements- and who are teaching their students to do likewise; who understand learning and skills training not as a technical thing but as being humanly motivated, demanding responsibility and contribution from each individual, delivered unreserved and with care. From the onset of the training the student teachers are trained to be able to spearhead community building efforts, this is done every week at the college where over 800 community members attend lessons in different skills, larger parts of the community are reached through the outreach programs organised by the college, education authorities, local chiefs and community members. The students then initiate community projects aimed at income generation during their 11 months’ school based teaching practice. Currently, more than 18,000 primary school children are benefiting from the 120 student teachers in teaching practice, 10 community projects have been established by the student teachers and an additional 322 community members in groups of about 30 are engaged in activities for environmental protection .
The Marketplace: Who are your peers and competitors? Identify others also working to address the needs you are and what differentiates you from them. What challenges could these players pose to your success or growth?
Our program works closely with Ministry of Education, Ministry of Gender, Child and Community Development and various government departments at district, zonal and community level. The only other teacher training college in the educational division is run by the government and what sets us apart is that not only does the program qualify graduate teachers, but it also establishes the college as a base which represents a resource in its own right by engaging in a number of community activities. These include, but are not limited to: distance education teachers, day and evening classes for people in communities surrounding the college including adult literacy programs, service and facilities' provision to schools in the area of the college, agriculture an garden farming.
Now that you have thought out your entry, help us pitch it.
Define your company, program, service, or product in 1-2 short sentences [136 characters]
Training primary school teachers dedicated to teach in rural areas while making them agents of change in the communities they'll teach.
Identify what is innovative about your solution in 1-2 short sentences [136 characters]
Multi-sectoral involvement of communities vital towards creation of empathetic, child-friendly schools and community environment.
This Entry is about (Issues)
What has been the impact of your solution to date?
Dowa TTC has taken important steps to integrate community members from the villages and refugees from the Dzaleka refugee camp. This takes place in the weekly community lessons, in the open days and in events which the college organizes. The teachers are putting emphasis on demonstrating the importance of mutual understanding between the different cultures and on showing interest in each other’s ideas and backgrounds. This is important in an environment where the refugees are very isolated and exposed to a lot of prejudice.
The close collaboration with other teacher training colleges- private and public has enabled us disseminate the ideas of effective teacher training to equip teachers with necessary skills to make the learning experience enjoyable while helping the children feel positive about attending school and reducing drop out rates. The program has seen an increase in the number of community members attending community lessons which is now more than 2000 from 600 in 2010.
What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?
The main impact of the program is to contribute to improved quality in rural primary schools and communities through an increased number of qualified and compassionate teachers being trained.
Increased number of primary students selected to secondary schools.
Improved economic status for households by 40% through active involvement in income generation projects.
Increased number of community members around the Teacher Training College
practicing conservation farming thereby enabling them to be food secure.
Decrease in the number of conflicts and disputes among communities at and surrounding the refugee camp.
Adoption of the program to non-participating communities in the district and educational division.
Increased number of youth clubs in schools promoting culture and arts.
What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?
The only challenge is the low turn up of community members during the farming season as most members have to attend to their fields.
Low participation of community members who are used to getting various monetary and non monetary incentives for taking part in various activities aimed at developing the community, village and district at large.
Lack of adequate materials such as fabric, wool, hoes, watering cans etc for use in tailoring, knitting, and agriculture skills teaching.
Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact
Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your six-month milestone
All out community mobilization with emphasis on the need for the community to own the program
Regular meetings with key stakeholders enabling them to appreciate our efforts
Information sharing and experience exchange with neighboring communities, schools, teachers, headteachers and school children
Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone
Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your 12-month milestone
Market linkages for the community members to sale their various produce
Formation of co-operatives which will ensure the growth and expansion of the community income generating activities
Establishing a network between all schools in the district where exchange visits will play a vital role in sustaining the progra
Founding Story: We want to hear about your "Aha!" moment. Share the story of where and when the founder(s) saw this solution's potential to change the world [125 words]
Malawi introduced free primary education in 1994. In the years since this
important step, the country has seen an enormous rise in the number of primary
school children opposing a comparably tiny number of qualified teachers,
under-equipped school facilities. Though the recent government has undertaken
huge efforts to counterbalance the deficiencies, the restrictions of the country being one of the poorest in the world have left a tremendous need for support in enhancing the quality and quantity of primary school teachers, especially for the rural areas with their challenging teaching conditions.
The program is designed to create a new generation of teachers who will bring modern education into poor communities and thus contribute to their development. The educational concept is visionary and unique in its outlook, combining academic studies with practical work and teaching practice and emphasizing the role of the teacher as a key figure in community development.
Tell us about your partnerships
Program funds are raised through partnerships with the Government of Malawi, various companies, United Nations agencies, Governments of the United States of America, Europe, the European Union and a range of national and international organizations.
Current and past partners are: United States Department of Agriculture, the European Union, the National AIDS Commission- Malawi , the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology- Malawi, the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Canada Fund and TEVETA - Malawi.
What type of team (staff, volunteers, etc.) will ensure that you achieve the growth milestones identified in the Social Impact section? [75 words]
DAPP favors volunteerism as this enables the volunteers to have an ownership of the program. DAPP also has an international volunteering program where volunteers contribute to the project implementation over a period of 6 months. DAPP Dowa Teacher Training College has a has a teaching staff of 25 lecturers and group teachers, 4 international volunteers, 380 active student teachers and about 10 volunteers in the community who mobilize fellow community members. The program will continue to work closely with the Primary Education Advisers, education, social work and agriculture officials.
Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren't specified within the list
It is part of the program's concept that the college provides service to the surrounding community and schools based on the understanding that the college is a center for education in the community and we welcome organisations and institutions that wish to collaborate, network or partner with us as we create a better Malawi for all.