Food and clothing

It takes more to ensure a student’s success than supporting their school fees. Some children do not attend school because they cannot afford a uniform or must travel long distances to the nearest school and do not have shoes. FOCHTA provides two sets of clothing (including a school uniform) and a pair of shoes to students in need. In 2009, 85 FOCHTA beneficiaries have received support through this program.

In 2004-2005, Malawi suffered a devastating drought, during which FOCHTA ran a school meals program, offering many students their only meal of the day. Fortunately, rain has been plentiful in the last few years and harvests have been abundant.

As orphaned children, many FOCHTA beneficiaries have been left small pieces of land by deceased parents. Working with Malawi’s Ministry of Agriculture, FOCHTA now provides its students with seeds, fertiliser and technical assistance in farming techniques to help them cultivate their land. Through FOCHTA’s Youth Farming Program, students work together in community gardens cultivating maize, pumpkins, pigeon peas and other local crops. FOCHTA is also working to build community granaries to store food for hungry seasons when food is scarce, and to diversify crops to adapt to changing rain patterns.

These measures to ensure community food security have decreased school drop-out rates, as students are able to concentrate on their schooling rather than seeking work in order to support their families.