Malawi Teachers Educate Communities on Elections

May 19, 2014 / Civitas International Programs, Foundations of Democracy, Project Citizen
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Civitas Malawi provided teachers with professional development in democracy and election processes in the lead-up to Malawi’s first tripartite elections, taking place on May 20, 2014. Based at the Domasi College of Education, Civitas Malawi is the Center’s Civitas International Programs partner in Malawi and has expertise in localized adaptations of Center’s Project Citizen and Foundations of Democracy civic education programs.

Civitas Malawi trained K-12 teachers in Malawi on key topics related to democratic processes and elections. Topics included the role of citizens in ensuring a free and fair election process and minimizing violence during the campaign period by focusing on issues-based campaigns.

Teachers who participated in Civitas Malawi’s professional development program increased local civic awareness by teaching the community in and around their schools about the importance of voting and how Malawi’s first tripartite elections would be carried out. Some teachers also volunteered additional time on “get out the vote” campaigns, going to churches and religious gatherings to inform citizens about the voting process and their roles as citizens.

A Project Citizen student team from Malawi at the Africa Regional Project Citizen Showcase 2006

A Project Citizen student team from Malawi at the Africa Regional Project Citizen Showcase 2006

In addition, Civitas Malawi conducted workshops for its civil-society partner organizations in Malawi, including Reach Out Ministries, to work with their constituencies on the same issues. Civitas Malawi recently entered into a partnership with Machinga Teacher Training College, another teacher-training institution, to train their constituency of teachers to work with communities towards positive and responsible participation in the elections.

Misheck Munthali, Director of Civitas Malawi

Misheck Munthali, Director of Civitas Malawi

“Our role really, as Civitas Malawi, has been to share what we know with others who work with us and in the process allow them to take the knowledge and skills to their own areas…When things go well next Tuesday [during the elections], we shall stand tall and say we contributed in our own little ways to the process,” said Misheck Munthali, Director of Civitas Malawi and Manager for Open Learning at Domasi College of Education.

Civitas Malawi implements democracy education programs for teachers, young people, and communities in Malawi in partnership with numerous local and international organizations.

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