Child Protection Policy

Starfish Malawi takes child protection issues very seriously.

Download: Starfish Malawi Child Protection Code of Conduct.

 

School Protection Policy

Starfish Malawi encourage direct communication between schools in Malawi and the UK, but feel that some definition should be given to aid the effective facilitation between UK and Malawi, which experiences some unique challenges.

There are two possible methods of communication,

1) Through Starfish    or   2) Independent of Starfish.

There are practical reasons for the creation of the following policy statement. Experience teaches that problems can occur when money is not processed through Starfish Malawi:

 

  • The Malawi office can sometimes be totally ignorant of past and current communication and agreements, which hinders the work (e.g. secondary school sponsorship where school fees are paid direct, but nothing is provided for books, food, travel, pocket money, school uniform etc. The students come to the office for the extras because they are “Starfish students”, but there is nothing available)
  • Starfish has a reputation to maintain with the schools in the programme, Department of Education and community.
  • The Starfish “service” has delivered effectively in the past.
  • Cultural/practical misunderstandings can be avoided.
  • Money raised can be spent for the right purpose and quality control undertaken.

We ask all schools to make a choice between the two methods so that all parties are aware of their roles and responsibilities.

 

1. Through Starfish

If this route is used Starfish (UK and Malawi) would:

 

  • Be copied into all email correspondence between the schools
  • Be responsible for any programme to assist the Malawian school e.g. building work.
  • Use the “official” Starfish Malawi Secondary school sponsorship programme, if applicable.
  • Discuss matters with Chris Knott (Chairman) and Emmanuel Uwaezuoke (Malawi Country Director) about curriculum issues.
  • Use eLanguages website for sharing curriculum.
  • Notify Starfish of any issues which need attention.
  • Uk schools agree to pay Starfish Malawi the fee of £250.
  • Agree to payment in-country of 10% construction charge*. (See below).
  • Act in accordance with our Accountability procedure.

 

2. Independent

We do not force schools to use the official procedure, but if independent route is taken:

 

  • We will notify the school that the finance element is not part of the Starfish scheme.
  • We will not get involved in building work or reporting.
  • We will steer all communications back to the UK school.
  • Agree to pay in-country Starfish Malawi fee of £250 in UK.
  • Use eLanguages website for sharing curriculum.

 

We strongly encourage schools to use the official Starfish route. We have had far fewer problems with this method of operation (I’m afraid we are not totally immune from issues).

*Starfish have a salaried building contractor on their staff. They arrange meetings with the VDC (village development committee), PTA and Teacher’s group. They organise the purchase and delivery of materials on site and day to day building management to ensure quality control. Therefore this charge simply offsets costs, which would otherwise be levied within the project budget, but enables Starfish to effectively oversee the quality control.