This is the situation in Malawi – from Clara Chindime, UNICEF

Our next group of IKEA co-workers is on their way to visit educational projects funded by the Soft Toys for Education campaign in Malawi.

But before you can read all about their experiences during next week,  get an impression of the situation from UNICEF co-worker Clara Chindime working at the Malawi office.

Clara Chindime, Girls Education Officer, UNICEF Malawi office
Clara Chindime, Girls Education Officer, UNICEF Malawi office

I am Clara Chindime and I work as a Girls Education Officer in the UNICEF Malawi office.

My passion for girls education comes from the encouragement that my father gave me. At the time I was in college many people had the belief that if one gets too educated, she’ll not get married but my dad was of a different opinion. With this, I got the drive to promote education for the girl child. I like mentoring girls, encouraging them, letting them know that they have the same capabilities as boys!

Many girls in Malawi drop out of school due to early marriage and early pregnancies and some of the contributing factors are cultural and traditional beliefs that advocate for early marriages.

My happiest moments in my work are when I see or hear that the girls I’ve mentored have been selected to secondary school. Makes me feel like a proud mother.

Currently, I am glad I am with UNICEF at this time when we are supporting the Ministry of Education in coming up with a strategy for girls education. This will entail better programming for girls education and we should be able to see improved indicators.

I thank our partners such as the IKEA Foundation for supporting UNICEF Malawi’s girls education programmes. Their support is a good and worthwhile investment.

Clara  with some of "her" children
Clara with some of "her" children
    Juli Riegler