Involvement of the Roger Federer Foundation

In 2011, the Roger Federer Foundation and Action Aid Malawi launched a ten-year initiative to improve early childhood education in Malawi and to systemically change its education landscape. The programme is generously supported by Credit Suisse and the Roche Employee Action and Charity Trust. The overall budget is around 14 million CHF. By 2020, the programme will be rolled out in 80 areas and 480 preschools in 10 districts of the country. 

The programme consists of two stages: First, 80 model preschools are set up in each area to publicise the desired early education standard in the country and to offer a reference point for the community. These models provide a safe, child-friendly, and stimulating learning environment, have qualified teachers, and promote the potential of the children to the greatest extent possible. Moreover, children daily receive a balanced meal, and parents are involved in their early education. In a second stage, 400 satellite preschools are integrated into the programme (5 satellites around each model). Although these satellites do not receive the same infrastructural support as the models, they should be motivated and inspired by them in order to improve. 

The programme has been externally evaluated three times and shows the following results: 

  • To date, 92,100 children in 330 centres have received access to preschool centres and 20,100 children transitioned from supported preschool centres. 
  • All model preschools and about 90% of satellites have indoor and outdoor play materials.
  • 86% of model and 96% of satellite preschools have handwashing facilities to maintain good hygienic practices, and therefore prevent incidence of preventable diseases, leading to better health and physical growth.
  • The children have made tremendous gains in their physical, cognitive, social and emotional growth: Of the 1,062 children assessed 83% are on the right track of physical development, 68% on mental development, 78% on social development and 67% on spiritual growth
  • The number of qualified staff improved dramatically: All 80 model centres have caregivers who are well qualified in being able to use the caregivers guide, syllabus and to develop lesson plans and themes used when teaching children.
  • The changes among parents are impressive. At the start of the programme, an average of 30% of parents actively supported their children at home. Now, 64% of parents are actively involved in the early development of their children and in the kindergarten.

The last phase of the programme has started in June 2018 and will be running until 2021. The three-year phase will reach out to additional 58,405 children in 10 districts. 21,600 children will have transitioned to primary school. Its main objectives are the following:

  • Reach out to the last 150 new Satellite preschools.
  • Invest in the sustainability of the reached quality in the 330 preschools by enhancing community ownership and networking of in all the 10 districts
  • Influence local and national government to invest more resources in ECD.
  • Improve the health and nutrition status of 58,405 children in all 480 preschools.
  • Promote school readiness for children aged 5-6 from 480 preschools.
  • Build the capacity of 150 parenting educators who will train 58,405 parents in parenting education.
  • Strengthen coordination, collaboration of ECD stakeholders and record management systems at community district and national level.

Our implementing partner ActionAid Malawi

ActionAid Malawi (AAIM) is a non-governmental, national development organisation founded in Malawi in 1990. Although a member of the international federation of over 40 national ActionAid organisations with the base in South Africa, AAIM is a 100% local NGO, decides and operates independently and is managed exclusively by local employees. AAIM concentrates on poverty reduction and is active within 14 districts in Malawi, having specialised in rural and remote areas in long-term programs. Among AAIM's particular concerns are the integration of and shared responsibility with local communities. As a consulting organisation to the Malawian Government, AAIM makes the voice of this rather ostracised part of society heard in the country's capital.


Malawi Facts

15 Mio
Compulsory education
5-12 years
Enrolment ratio
primary 86%, secondary girls 13%
Illiteracy rate
19% of children under 5 are undernourished

Photo Gallery