CFED idea was hatched in May 2015 by Albert Sharra. This was after he met a 15 year old girl who instead of being in class was busy selling fritters in Chilomoni Township in Blantyre, Malawi’s main commercial city, located in the southern part of Malawi. The girl was out of school because her divorced mother could not afford$10 (about MK7500) school fees at Mulunguzi Community Day Secondary School(CDSS).
Sharra thought he could do something to send back to school the girl and also ensure no one drops out of school due to lack of school fees, particularly in CDSS which are the most cheapest secondary schools in Malawi.
He shared the story on Facebook pages and the reaction gave him hope that he can do something. He, later on, approached Mr Gremson Swart, Albert Bisalomu and Leshina Tapani (youths in Chilomoni Township). The three nodded to the idea and within weeks, they started meeting at St James Catholic Parish in the Township. The list grew with additions of Saidi Phiri, Litness Chaima and Alice Bender.
One of the meetings agreed to establish a community foundation under the name Chilomoni Foundation for Education and Development (CFED). The foundation was designed to help keep students in school. A draft constitution was produced the same year. However, the team did not succeed to have the foundation registered by government to operate legally.
All, except for Mr Swart, resigned from the foundation few months later. Mr Swart excused himself some years later to concentrate on some personal work. He now serves in the board of trustees committee.
Mr Sharra went on recruit more new members and created a new executive committee. The constitution was rewritten and the foundation registered, then as Centre for Education and Development. It is now a national organization operating in 28 districts of Malawi. It operates under the Certificate number R.G.20754/\M/5.2005
We thank everyone who has given CFED a hand!!!
Who is Albert Sharra?
Albert Sharra is a Doctoral fellow and Sessional lecturer in the department of political studies at
the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. He is a multi-award-
winning journalists and was named Malawi’s Journalist of the Year three times in four
consecutive years (2016-2019). He has spent 10 years in the newsroom and his last post was Investigative
Journalist for Solutions Journalism. At Wits University, he teaches two modules,
Comparative Politics and Conflict Stability and State Building in Postcolonial Africa. Albert
has received several scholarships and research grants. He has published and presented his
work at various international conferences. His research interests intersect between politics
and journalism with a bias in communication for social change, African studies, social media,
and digital activism. Click here to know more.
Sharra runs Centre for Education and Development (CFED-Malawi) on part-time basis with other volunteers. Among others, the charity organization distributes free newspapers in schools and train politicians, activists and
journalists in political communication, elections, and reporting Universal Periodic Review
(UPR). By October 2021, the organization had supported over 100 students with school fees and donated over 960 copies of Weekend Nation newspaper to 40 primary and secondary schools from 19 of the 28 districts of the country.