The Naweza Project (meaning "I can" in Swahili) empowers refugee girls in Malawi by improving their access to quality education, security, and overall well-being. The project aims to offset secondary school fees for refugee girls to study at boarding schools outside the Dzaleka camp; award scholarships for refugee girls to attend Malawian universities; and operate Girls' Clubs that provide life-skills training and menstrual health workshops for primary school girls and young women.
In 1994, Dzaleka opened to accommodate 4,000 people. Today it houses 40,000 asylum seekers and refugees. Only 61% of refugee children have access to primary school, dropping to 23% for access to secondary school and only 1% for higher education. Out-of-school children are at a higher risk of early marriage, recruitment into armed groups, and survival sex. Globally, there are only 7 refugee girls for every 10 refugee boys in secondary school.
Naweza increases the availability and quality of gender-responsive education at upper primary, secondary, and tertiary levels. This improves retention, academic performance, and economic stability. Increasing capacity creates more space and support for girls to succeed. It advances gender equality: elevating the status of girls, improving respect for their human rights, and enabling policies and services to respond better to their needs.
Naweza improves women's access to and completion of education, providing more opportunities for decent and remunerative work and the stability and confidence work brings. Economic development and integration contribute to durable solutions for forcibly displaced people and help build stable communities.