DVV International awards Malawian journalists for exceptional reporting on ALE

In Malawi, the journalists have taken great interest in reporting on Adult Learning and Education (ALE). It is for this reason that DVV International continues to award these journalists for excellent reporting on ALE.

DVV International Communications/Programme Officer Dyson Mthawanji (left) giving an award to Imam Wali of Times Group in Malawi.

Bertha Banda showing the laptop which she received from DVV International.

By Dyson Mthawanji

DVV International has honoured two journalists in Malawi for their exceptional reporting on Adult Learning and Education (ALE). The recognition ceremony took place in the lakeshore district of Mangochi, during the 2024 Media Institute for Southern Africa - Malawi Chapter awards ceremony on Saturday, 4th May, 2024. Imam Wali from Times Group received the award in the print category, while Bertha Banda from Bembeke FM, a community radio station, was recognized in the electronic category. Both journalists expressed their gratitude for the laptops they received, acknowledging their significance in fostering their continued efforts in reporting on ALE and other developmental matters.

On one hand, Banda won the award for her radio report titled "Challenges that married women face when pursuing Adult Learning and Education."

On the other hand, Wali received recognition for his newspaper article titled "The painful, hefty price for illiteracy," published in The Daily Times on 27th February 2024.

Wali expressed enormous ecstasy upon receiving the award, considering it a pronounced honour.  

Wali said: “The award has in away motivated me to write more about Adult Learning and Education. I encourage fellow journalists to write more on this subject because there is a lot that needs to be done. The more we write the more we sensetise communities on the importance of education, for themselves, community and country at large.”

The winning of Bembeke FM journalist excited many stakeholders as it shows that community radio stations are also taking development reporting to a higher level. “I am very excited for being recognized as the best Adult Learning and Education journalist of the year 2024 in electronic category. The laptop that I have received will make my work easier, and it's a motivation. I hope that DVV International, as an organization that promotes Adult Literacy and Education, will work on sensitizing husbands on the importance of ALE especially in Dedza district for married women to easily attend adult education classes without affecting the peace of their marriages.

Gerhard Quincke, the Regional Director for Southern Africa at DVV International, stressed the crucial role of the media in informing the public about the significance and diverse aspects of ALE. Quincke urged all the journalists present at the ceremony to continue researching and producing stories related to ALE. He underlined that ALE is a multifaceted issue that cuts across various sectors and plays a vital role in overall development.

Quincke also noted an improvement in the quality of journalists' entries for the ALE category in 2024. However, he emphasized the importance of journalists engaging further and expanding their understanding of the breadth and importance of ALE.

DVV International has been actively collaborating with the media in Malawi since its establishment in 2017 to promote ALE. In partnership with the Media Institute for Southern Africa (MISA) – Malawi Chapter, DVV International introduced the ALE Media award in 2020 to motivate journalists to pursue ALE reporting in both print and electronic media. Previous winners include Chimwemwe Mikwala of Yoneco FM and John Chirwa of Nation Publications Limited in 2020, Brenda Kaonga of MIJ FM and Wezzie Gausi of Times Group in 2021, and Georgia Chirombo (electronic) of MIJ FM and Clement Chinoko of Nation Publications Limited (print) in 2022; and Wiston Kaimila (electronic) and Taonga Sabola (print) of Times Group in 2023.

In addition to 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 ALE sector in Malawi and the region.

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