Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Malawi Passes Child Protection Bill

The bill outlines responsibilities and roles of parents on how to raise their children in their respective homes, addresses issues of child abduction, trafficking, harmful cultural practices, and it recognizes principles that are in the best interest of children. There are 1.4 million child workers in Malawi, mainly in tea plantations and domestic servitude. Some criticize the bill for conflicting with cultural norms and being too "western". To read more click here.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Former President Bill Clinton Visits Malawi

All work and no play? For many Americans this is not an expression that we associate with the former President. His visit to Malawi yesterday to follow-up on development projects funded by his Foundation was combined with attending the World Cup. He decided to stay for today's match between Ghana and the US - and to pitch the US as a future World Cup venue to FIFA. To read more click here.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Thank You to the Flora Family Foundation

Collins Mutsvairo, ASAP Zimbabwe's Bridge the Gap Project Manager, was honored to attend the Teacher Education and Development Trainees Conference held in Kampala, Uganda last week. Funded by the Flora Family Foundation, the conference brought together practitioners working to improve education from throughout Africa. ASAP is thankful for the opportunity to share experiences and collaborate with colleagues. To read ASAP's Bridge the Gap Project Report click here.
To watch the video overview of the BTG project click here.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Growing Global Citizens

UNICEF has launched Teach UNICEF - a fantastic website that provides resources such as lesson plans, stories, and multimedia to cover topics and encourage the exploration of critical global issues that impact children worldwide. Materials on the site can be downloaded for free. The goal is to offer interested youth an opportunity to take action and create a new generation of well-informed global citizens.

Click here to learn more.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Zimbabwe Takes Step Toward New Constitution

President Robert Mugabe and his ZANU-PF party have finally allowed the process of crafting a new constitution to begin, nearly a year behind schedule. To read more click here.

To download the 2005 amended Zimbabwe constitution click here.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Micro-Light Visitors fly in to ASAP Malawi

With a mission to raise awareness of and secure funding for microfinance initiatives in Africa, micro light pilots Thom de Wit and Merle Pijlman, are flying across Africa to learn more about microfinance. On 7 June 2010, they arrived in Malawi as guests of ASAP Malawi and are pictured below with Victor Katchika-Jere, ASAP's Country Director in Malawi.
They were driven to Ndakwera and Nyampemba communities where ASAP is currently implementing village savings and lending projects (VSL). The couple met with more than 100 club members in two separate community meetings.
Senior Group Village Headman Singano, also an active VSL club member, said: “This methodology has shown us that our money can grow and make profit from it through lending. If we were to go to a bank we would have to pay some deposit and then also have bank charges deducted from our own money.”
ASAP’s Country Director, Mr. Victor Katchika-Jere emphasized the vision of ASAP Malawi: “This organization is committed to eradicating poverty. ASAP believes that this starts when the people have a stable capital base to start their Income Generating Activities (IGAs) and have the right training to help them in making informed decisions about what business to engage in. The Chimvano pa Chuma Project through VSL builds community capacity to embrace a savings culture.”
Mission accomplished, the couple left Malawi on Wednesday, June 9, 2010 on their way to Tanzania, Kenya, Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt enroute to Holland. To learn more about their journey click here.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Special Malawi Graduation

People attending a recent graduation of ASAP Internal Savings and Lending (IS&L) members got a real treat. Traditional dancers performed at this graduation making it a very special event. The people graduating are members of ASAP’s IS&L program who have reached the stage of independence when they no longer need ASAP field officer monitoring and training. These graduation ceremonies are normally quite a festive time with singing, dancing and handing out of certificates to the graduating group. But this celebration became even better with the performance of traditional dancers.

Each of these masked dancers represent a different kind of animal as they dance in a manner that depicts the nature of that animal. The tree leaves in each “animal’s” hands are used for signaling to the drummers, other dancers and people leading the way when the animals are walking.

As ASAP's IS&L program has grown in Malawi, graduations have become a more common event but these traditional dancers made this graduation truly a very special graduation.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

An Opportunity to Learn and Share

Collins Mutsvairo, ASAP Africa's Bridge the Gap Project Manager is looking forward to attending a conference on learning outcomes this month. The meeting, to be held in Kampala, Uganda, is funded by the Flora Family Foundation.

Collins is eager to share the results and findings from ASAP's 5 year math teacher training project that ended in December 2009, which was partially funded the Flora Family Foundation. To watch a video overview of the BTG project click here.