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The Impact of Psychosocial Support Training at Kambenje Primary School

In the educational journeys of many students, various challenges can lead to negative outcomes, including absenteeism, dropout, early marriages, pregnancies, and even suicide. Psychosocial Support (PSS) plays a crucial role in helping students remain resilient and stay in school. Recognizing this, a project trained Mother Group members in impacted schools to provide PSS, ensuring learners receive the support they need to continue their education. This article delves into the situation before and after the PSS training intervention at Kambenje Primary School in Mulanje district, Malawi.

Early pregnancy is a significant factor contributing to school dropouts among children in Malawian primary schools, often shattering their dreams of completing their education. A poignant example is Hassina Hussein, a standard 8 student at Kambenje Primary School in Chambe zone. Residing in Chole village, Traditional Authority Nkanda, Hassina is the eldest of three children. She dropped out of school in 2018 after becoming pregnant while in standard 7.

"After dropping out of school, I thought that I should just stick to the family and raise my baby since the man who impregnated me denied the pregnancy," Hassina shared.

Hassina's mother tried to support her by enrolling her in tailoring and electrical short courses at Chambe Rock, offered by TEVETA. However, these efforts did not fully address Hassina's educational aspirations or her long-term potential.

The Girls Get Equal project by the Creative Centre for Community Mobilization (CRECCOM), funded by Norad through Plan International Malawi, marked a turning point for Hassina and many others. As part of this initiative, Kambenje Primary School's Mother Group received comprehensive training on psychosocial support.''

The Mother Group learned how to effectively track down students who had dropped out and provide the necessary psychosocial support to encourage their return to school. In 2023, the Mother Group reached out to Hassina, discovering the reasons behind her dropout and encouraging her to resume her education.

“The mother group encouraged me that I could go back to school regardless of having a child. I then realized that what they said was important and returned to school. My child is now 5 years old and stays with my grandmother when I go to school,” said Hassina.

Utilizing their newly acquired skills, the Mother Group also advised Hassina's mother on how to motivate and support Hassina's educational endeavors. Hassina’s mother committed to ensuring Hassina's basic needs were met and encouraged her to strive for academic success.

“I am a lead farmer, and when I sell my farm produce, I buy pens, exercise books, and even a school uniform for her. Despite not having advanced in my own education, I always tell her to work hard and aim for a degree. I explain that if she works hard, she can become independent and maybe even like our female Member of Parliament one day,” Hassina’s mother explained.

Hassina’s return to school is a testament to the effectiveness of the PSS training. The Mother Group's efforts have rekindled her educational aspirations and provided her with the support needed to overcome past challenges. This intervention not only transformed Hassina's life but also set a precedent for the broader community, highlighting the critical role of psychosocial support in fostering resilience and educational continuity among students.

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14 jun
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Great initiatives.

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