Lessons from the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI)

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The Planning Directorate in the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare is pleased to announce that Mr. Ahmad Mmadi, an Economist, was among the 11 out of 2000 Malawian applicants who were selected to attend the training at YALI Southern Africa Regional Leadership Centre hosted by the University of South Africa in Pretoria, Republic of South Africa. 

The training was delivered in three tracks including Public Management and Governance, Civic Leadership and Business and entrepreneurship tracks. The Economist had intense 4 weeks of training at UNISA. Below are some of the highlights of Mr. Mmadi’s training.


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29th November 2016 is the day the community of TA Makanjira in Salima District will live to remember. This is the day government officially handed over Nakaleza CDSS which is the first secondary school in the area.

Speaking during the handover ceremony, Secretary for Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, Mary Shawa encouraged pupils at the school to work hard in their studies and refrain from early marriage.

“Your goals must be to be professionals in various fields, and that will only happen if you get married at the right age. For those girls and boys who already have children, I encourage you to enroll back in school. Let me add here that my message is going to both girls and boys. Sometimes boys think that early marriage does not negatively affect them. They however also get affected with the burden of taking care of a family and children at a young age,” she said.

Shawa then encouraged teachers to be loving towards their students, and to encourage them to work hard. She also asked the teachers to give out appropriate punishment when the students are in the wrong. In the same vein, Shawa asked the students to amicably resolve any issues they may have with management instead of rushing to destroy the school or property.

In his remarks, T/A Makanjira said he was very happy with the handover of the school. He said the school would help reduce the distance pupils’ travel from his area to other schools which are far from the community.

He said, “I cannot express my joy at this momentous occasion. Ever since the dawn of independence in Malawi, this area has never had a secondary school. We only had a primary school and students from this area were traveling long distances to access secondary education.”

The T/A added that although he is grateful for the school, the community foresees challenges since the school only has two blocks catering for form one and form two. He therefore pledged that his community is willing to help in the construction of other school blocks to ensure the school has enough school blocks.

Addressing the community UNFPA Resident Representative Dan Odallo said that he was very happy to see the efforts that the community and parents of Nakaleza had borne fruit. He thanked the parents for allowing their children attend school and highlighted that children who do not get an education lose out on a lot of opportunities. He then challenged the community to promote gender equality b ensuring that the number of boys and girls finishing school is the same as that which started form one.

“I would like to encourage you to give girls the opportunity to continue and finish their education. The goal of GEWE was to give everyone an equal chance to participate in the development of the country and communities. Let me assure you today, that UNFPA will continue to support governments efforts to develop the country,” he said.

During the handover ceremony, UNFPA also donated 150 desks to the school. Nakaleza CDSS was built under the GEWE Project with funding from the European Union through UNFPA. The community donated the land on which the school has been built.


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Lilongwe: 25th November 2016

Hon Kalilani launching the National Plan of Action to Combat GBVThe Minister for Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, Jean Kalilani has called upon Malawians to eliminate gender based violence (GBV) in homes and communities as this where GBV frequently occurs. The Minister was speaking during the launch of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence Campaign at Golden Peacock Hotel in Lilongwe.

The campaign whose theme is “From Peace in the Home to Peace in the Community: Make Education Safe for All,” aims at eliminating violence in educational institutions to enable all Malawians to access education, and to get qualifications in order to promote the development agenda.


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Lilongwe: 3rd November 2016

The Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare has launched the disability awareness month at a press conference which was held at Central Office of Information in Lilongwe.

Speaking during the launch, Minister responsible, Jean Kalilani said the disability awareness month will help the country to reflect on the plight persons with disabilities in the country face. She added that she was also hopeful that the month will help to increase levels of public awareness on issues affecting persons with disabilities.

“During the month long awareness campaign, my Ministry in collaboration with all stakeholders will carry out different activities to promote and protect the rights of persons with disabilities. The campaign will involve the media in order to reach out to the greater masses of the population on issues of disability and sustainable development of the societies,” she said.


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The minister for Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare Jean Kalilani on Saturday launched the National Policy for Older Persons and the Study Report on Feasibility of Universal Old Age Pension in Malawi during the 2016 International Day for Older Persons commemoration which was held at Mponela II Primary School Ground in Dowa.

Speaking during the launch, Kalilani said the 2016 commemoration was exciting and historic because of the two launches.

The Policy’s objectives are, to promote and protect rights of older people, promote household food security and nutrition, intergenerational transfer of knowledge, and promote research, education and training on ageing issues increase access to shelter, lobby for an increase in access to health and sanitation, and encourage families and communities to take a leading role in caring for the elderly.



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The Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare with support from UNICEF conducted an exercise of collecting and entering data for vulnerable children’s  for all T/As in the Districts of Dedza, Mangochi and Blantyre. Similar exercise is expected to take place in Salima, Zomba, Mchinji, Nkhatabay and Mzimba.


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Dedza - 29th July, 2016

The Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare Jean Kalilani has called upon Malawians to reflect on the plight of teenage girls and renew their commitments in order to address the challenges young girls face. Kalilani said this when she presided over the Malawi World Population Day Commemoration in Senior Chief Kachindamoto’s area in Dedza.

Kalilani said the challenges teenage girls face have long lasting impact on the development of the country. She said girls are subjected to a lot of socio-economic challenges such as being marginalised, harmful cultural practices, early marriage, teenage pregnancy, sexual abuse, gender based violence and school dropout.