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DVV International Awards Journalists For Uplifting Adult Education In Malawi

Both winners, Kaonga and Gausi, hailed their recogniser, DVV International and MISA Malawi for coming up with the award.

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Godfrey Maotcha
Godfrey Maotcha
Born and grew up in Blantyre Malawi. Worked for the Guardian ( local newspaper) and Montfort Media for six years. A print and online media house. Currently lives in Lilongwe Malawi

MALAWI.Lilongwe: DVV International recently awarded two journalists in Malawi for outstanding Adult Learning and Education (ALE) reporting. The two journalists – Brenda Kaonga of MIJ FM Radio and Wezzie Gausi of Times Group – received state-of-the-art laptops which they have described as a motivation for them to continue reporting on ALE.

DVV International officially handed over the prizes to the two journalists during a colourful event which took place in Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe. The ceremony came in the aftermath of World Press Freedom Day commemorations which the Media Institute of South Africa (MISA) Malawi held on 3rd May 2021. Kaonga and Gausi were declared winners for the electronic and print ALE Media categories respectively during the commemorations.

DVV International Regional Director for Southern Africa, David Harrington (R) handing over a trophy to Kaonga Photo Credit: DVV Malawi.
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Kaonga won the award courtesy of her radio report entitled “Financial Investment, key to promotion of Adult Literacy Education in Malawi” while Gausi got her award based on an article entitled “Freed from chains of adult illiteracy”.

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Challenges

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In Kaonga’s report, she highlighted the challenges which the adult education sector is facing in Malawi. The article went further to offer solutions on how to address such challenges.

“In this winning story, I brought out the challenges that the ALE sector is facing in Malawi, such as the lack of proper infrastructure for adult literacy classes, unqualified educators and the low honoraria paid to instructors,” said Kaonga.

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Kaonga’s report also highlighted a success story about one of the adult literacy graduates who managed to gain employment due to the knowledge and reading and writing skills she acquired through adult literacy classes offered in her community.

Both Kaonga and Gausi hailed DVV International and MISA Malawi for coming up with the award.

 “I am happy for this award. It was my first time to write about ALE. The award has strengthened my resolve to understand the ALE field more such that I will endeavour to research more about the field so that I can also write more about it and enhance its visibility,” said Gausi whose winning article told the story of a farmer in Mchinji District in Central Malawi who became literate at the age of 53.

Importance and diverse nature of ALE

DVV International Regional Director for Southern Africa, David Harrington, highlighted that the media is an important ally in informing the public of the importance and diverse nature of ALE.

He encouraged all of the journalists present at the ceremony to continue researching and writing more stories about ALE. He emphasised that ALE is a crosscutting and multi-sectoral issue that is key to development on all levels.

DVV International has been working with the media on the promotion of ALE since it started its operations in Malawi in 2017. In 2020, DVV International in partnership with MISA Malawi introduced the ALE Media award to motivate journalists to pursue ALE reporting both in print and electronic media.

MISA Malawi Programmes Officer, Moses Chitsulo, said the working relationship between MISA Malawi and DVV International will enhance visibility of ALE in Malawi. “MISA Malawi is happy with the overwhelming interest among the journalists to write about ALE. I am very sure that many journalists will submit ALE entries for 2022 MISA Awards,” said Chitsulo.

Apart from the ALE awards, DVV International and MISA Malawi have also been organising media trainings to endow journalists with knowledge and information on ALE so that their work accurately addresses the major issues and challenges faced by the sector in Malawi and the region.

DVV International is the Institute for International Cooperation of the Deutscher Volkshochschul-Verband e.V. (DVV), the German Adult Education Association. DVV represents the interests of the approximately 900 adult education centres (Volkshochschulen) and their state associations, the largest further education providers in Germany.

Leading professional organisation

As the leading professional organisation in the field of adult education and development cooperation, DVV International has committed itself to supporting lifelong learning for over 50 years. DVV International provides worldwide support for the establishment and development of sustainable structures for Youth and Adult Education.

DVV International finances its work through funds from the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the German Federal Foreign Office, the European Union, GIZ as well as other donors.

DVV International’s programmes focus on three development policy intervention levels (Macro, Meso and Micro level) which are interwoven conceptually and in terms of implementation:

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