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MALAWI: Give girls a chance

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  • kristen cheney
    MALAWI: Give girls a chance LILONGWE, 16 June (IRIN) - Caroline Mbewe, 14, would prefer to be in school, but instead is a domestic worker for an affluent
    Message 1 of 3 , Jun 18, 2009
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      MALAWI: Give girls a chance

      LILONGWE, 16 June (IRIN) - Caroline Mbewe, 14, would prefer to be in school, but instead is a domestic worker for an affluent family in Malawi's capital, Lilongwe.

      "My bosses treat me well but I don't want to continue working. I want to be like their daughters; I want to go to school," she told IRIN.

      As in the rest of the developing world, poor families in Malawi are often forced to send their children out to earn a wage rather than complete their education.

      "[My parents] said it was not easy for them to care for me and my three siblings, who are still with my parents at home," Caroline explained.

      "[They] told me that my friends were making a lot of money in Lilongwe by working for rich families."

      Malawi's initial report to the UN's Convention on the Rights of the Child - a universally agreed set of standards and obligations on child protection [http://www.unicef.org/crc/] - noted that approximately 20 percent of all children under the age of 15 were in full-time employment, and a further 21 percent worked part-time. Two decades later the statistics are much the same.

      Primary education is free in Malawi, but secondary education - roughly from the age of 14 - is not, and where families have to choose between educating a boy child or a girl, it is usually the boy who will stay in class.

      Girls' burden

      Girls not only take on unpaid household chores like childcare, cooking and cleaning, but are more likely to be expected to bring in a wage.

      Elias Ngongondo, secretary for labour in Malawi's Ministry of Labour, last week pointed out that this "double burden" imposed on many girl children robbed them of the opportunity to "develop to their full potential".

      The UN Millennium Development Goals have set a target of ensuring that by 2015 all boys and girls complete full primary school and that there is gender parity in education.

      "These targets will not be met unless the factors that generate child labour and prevent poor families from sending children to school are addressed," Ngongondo said.

      jk/oa/he[ENDS]


      --
      "...for f*ck’s sake, the only thing that privilege is good for is to try to help other people." –Junot Diaz
    • vyrle@onlinemac.com
      18 June 2009 Dear Kristen, The working part of the picture may not be so bad, provided the girl is paid properly and provided with age appropriate benefits
      Message 2 of 3 , Jun 18, 2009
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        18 June 2009

        Dear Kristen,

        The working part of the picture may not be so bad, provided the girl is
        paid properly and provided with age appropriate benefits (i.e. time off
        and money to attend school).

        When I was working on my masters degree in the Philippines many, many
        years ago I needed a little extra help to take care of basic activities
        around the house like daily food buying and preparation, cleaning, and
        laundry. So I asked around about help and found a girl willing to do
        these things. She and her family had run out of money for school and most
        everything else, so she and her next youngest sister had dropped out of
        school to work. I did not need full-time assistance so I paid her the
        Philippine required minimum wage, provided her with a place to live, food
        to eat, time to attend school, and paid the school fees. She took care of
        the basic daily tasks which took 2-4 hours, attended school, and finished
        high school the year I was there. I had more time to study and
        concentrate on research. Seemed to me to have been a win-win situation.

        So why cannot "rich" foreigners who hire domestic help (who should be in
        school) come up with a plan to hire help and support them in school?
        After all, if those foreigners were Americans in the USA, their own kids
        would probably be doing some of the household chores, have a part-time
        job, and attend school. Why cannot they do the same for the household
        help they hire in Malawi? If there is more work than one part-time helper
        can handle, hire 2 or 3 and send them all to school along with having them
        work? Or hire the whole family, pay them adequately, let the parents
        supervise their own children and send them to school?


        Different subject:

        Our newly adopted grandson from Ethiopia arrived last week. Seems to be
        doing very well, already catching up on nutrition, exercise,
        verbalization, and is now on the charts.

        Kristen, the adoption agency is:

        Dove Adoptions International, Inc.
        www.adoptions.net

        The are Hague certified. You should be able to find them easily on the
        internet at the above website or by searching for Dove Adoption.

        I understand that Rawanda is open for adoption, but do not know who might
        be providing assistance.

        There are many, many adoption agencies, some better than others. Dove
        seemed to be the best organized of the agencies we researched. The Hague
        certification seems to narrow the field considerably. They also provide
        access to a "blog" by parents in their system about the process and
        personal experiences.

        Stay well,

        Vyrle



        > MALAWI: Give girls a chance
        >
        > LILONGWE, 16 June (IRIN) - Caroline Mbewe, 14, would prefer to be in
        > school, but instead is a domestic worker for an affluent family in
        > Malawi's capital, Lilongwe.
        >
        > "My bosses treat me well but I don't want to continue working. I want
        > to be like their daughters; I want to go to school," she told IRIN.
        >
        > As in the rest of the developing world, poor families in Malawi are
        > often forced to send their children out to earn a wage rather than
        > complete their education.
        >
        > "[My parents] said it was not easy for them to care for me and my
        > three siblings, who are still with my parents at home," Caroline
        > explained.
        >
        > "[They] told me that my friends were making a lot of money in
        > Lilongwe by working for rich families."
        >
        > Malawi's initial report to the UN's Convention on the Rights of the
        > Child - a universally agreed set of standards and obligations on child
        > protection [http://www.unicef.org/crc/%5d - noted that approximately 20
        > percent of all children under the age of 15 were in full-time
        > employment, and a further 21 percent worked part-time. Two decades
        > later the statistics are much the same.
        >
        > Primary education is free in Malawi, but secondary education -
        > roughly from the age of 14 - is not, and where families have to choose
        > between educating a boy child or a girl, it is usually the boy who
        > will stay in class.
        >
        > Girls' burden
        >
        > Girls not only take on unpaid household chores like childcare,
        > cooking and cleaning, but are more likely to be expected to bring in a
        > wage.
        >
        > Elias Ngongondo, secretary for labour in Malawi's Ministry of Labour,
        > last week pointed out that this "double burden" imposed on many girl
        > children robbed them of the opportunity to "develop to their full
        > potential".
        >
        > The UN Millennium Development Goals have set a target of ensuring
        > that by 2015 all boys and girls complete full primary school and that
        > there is gender parity in education.
        >
        > "These targets will not be met unless the factors that generate child
        > labour and prevent poor families from sending children to school are
        > addressed," Ngongondo said.
        >
        > jk/oa/he[ENDS]
        >
        >
        >
        > --
        > "...for f*ck’s sake, the only thing that privilege is good for is to try
        > to
        > help other people." –Junot Diaz
        >
      • vyrle@onlinemac.com
        18 June 2009 To whomever may be reading, I note I focused on rich foreigners. Should have probably focused on rich Malawians. In my experience,
        Message 3 of 3 , Jun 18, 2009
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          18 June 2009

          To whomever may be reading,

          I note I focused on "rich" foreigners. Should have probably focused on
          "rich" Malawians. In my experience, notwithstanding "exploitation" by
          foreigners, the household help is less likely to be treated well in their
          own cultural setting. Wages tend to be lower, (or not paid at all, food
          and lodging deemed to be an adequate wage) and expectations for amount of
          work is higher, leaving less time for things like school. Perhaps this is
          where the department of labor could make a contribution. "Rich" families
          who hire "poor" school leavers, could be required to provide education
          benefits to their workers under a certain age, like 20, who have not
          completed the basic education provided in the country (in Malawi primary
          and secondary education). And a certain minimum wage could be required,
          just as it was in the Philippines 40 years ago.

          Now I am starting to think about ranting on about education itself. I
          better stop and wait for another day.

          Vyrle

          > 18 June 2009
          >
          > Dear Kristen,
          >
          > The working part of the picture may not be so bad, provided the girl is
          > paid properly and provided with age appropriate benefits (i.e. time off
          > and money to attend school).
          >
          > When I was working on my masters degree in the Philippines many, many
          > years ago I needed a little extra help to take care of basic activities
          > around the house like daily food buying and preparation, cleaning, and
          > laundry. So I asked around about help and found a girl willing to do
          > these things. She and her family had run out of money for school and most
          > everything else, so she and her next youngest sister had dropped out of
          > school to work. I did not need full-time assistance so I paid her the
          > Philippine required minimum wage, provided her with a place to live, food
          > to eat, time to attend school, and paid the school fees. She took care of
          > the basic daily tasks which took 2-4 hours, attended school, and finished
          > high school the year I was there. I had more time to study and
          > concentrate on research. Seemed to me to have been a win-win situation.
          >
          > So why cannot "rich" foreigners who hire domestic help (who should be in
          > school) come up with a plan to hire help and support them in school?
          > After all, if those foreigners were Americans in the USA, their own kids
          > would probably be doing some of the household chores, have a part-time
          > job, and attend school. Why cannot they do the same for the household
          > help they hire in Malawi? If there is more work than one part-time helper
          > can handle, hire 2 or 3 and send them all to school along with having them
          > work? Or hire the whole family, pay them adequately, let the parents
          > supervise their own children and send them to school?
          >
          >
          > Different subject:
          >
          > Our newly adopted grandson from Ethiopia arrived last week. Seems to be
          > doing very well, already catching up on nutrition, exercise,
          > verbalization, and is now on the charts.
          >
          > Kristen, the adoption agency is:
          >
          > Dove Adoptions International, Inc.
          > www.adoptions.net
          >
          > The are Hague certified. You should be able to find them easily on the
          > internet at the above website or by searching for Dove Adoption.
          >
          > I understand that Rawanda is open for adoption, but do not know who might
          > be providing assistance.
          >
          > There are many, many adoption agencies, some better than others. Dove
          > seemed to be the best organized of the agencies we researched. The Hague
          > certification seems to narrow the field considerably. They also provide
          > access to a "blog" by parents in their system about the process and
          > personal experiences.
          >
          > Stay well,
          >
          > Vyrle
          >
          >
          >
          >> MALAWI: Give girls a chance
          >>
          >> LILONGWE, 16 June (IRIN) - Caroline Mbewe, 14, would prefer to be in
          >> school, but instead is a domestic worker for an affluent family in
          >> Malawi's capital, Lilongwe.
          >>
          >> "My bosses treat me well but I don't want to continue working. I want
          >> to be like their daughters; I want to go to school," she told IRIN.
          >>
          >> As in the rest of the developing world, poor families in Malawi are
          >> often forced to send their children out to earn a wage rather than
          >> complete their education.
          >>
          >> "[My parents] said it was not easy for them to care for me and my
          >> three siblings, who are still with my parents at home," Caroline
          >> explained.
          >>
          >> "[They] told me that my friends were making a lot of money in
          >> Lilongwe by working for rich families."
          >>
          >> Malawi's initial report to the UN's Convention on the Rights of the
          >> Child - a universally agreed set of standards and obligations on child
          >> protection [http://www.unicef.org/crc/%5d - noted that approximately 20
          >> percent of all children under the age of 15 were in full-time
          >> employment, and a further 21 percent worked part-time. Two decades
          >> later the statistics are much the same.
          >>
          >> Primary education is free in Malawi, but secondary education -
          >> roughly from the age of 14 - is not, and where families have to choose
          >> between educating a boy child or a girl, it is usually the boy who
          >> will stay in class.
          >>
          >> Girls' burden
          >>
          >> Girls not only take on unpaid household chores like childcare,
          >> cooking and cleaning, but are more likely to be expected to bring in a
          >> wage.
          >>
          >> Elias Ngongondo, secretary for labour in Malawi's Ministry of Labour,
          >> last week pointed out that this "double burden" imposed on many girl
          >> children robbed them of the opportunity to "develop to their full
          >> potential".
          >>
          >> The UN Millennium Development Goals have set a target of ensuring
          >> that by 2015 all boys and girls complete full primary school and that
          >> there is gender parity in education.
          >>
          >> "These targets will not be met unless the factors that generate child
          >> labour and prevent poor families from sending children to school are
          >> addressed," Ngongondo said.
          >>
          >> jk/oa/he[ENDS]
          >>
          >>
          >>
          >> --
          >> "...for f*ck’s sake, the only thing that privilege is good for is to try
          >> to
          >> help other people." –Junot Diaz
          >>
          >
          >
          >
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