Family – The Nation Online http://mwnation.com Top Malawi Breaking News Headlines Sun, 19 Nov 2017 11:24:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9 Hara’s channel to safe motherhood http://mwnation.com/haras-channel-safe-motherhood/ http://mwnation.com/haras-channel-safe-motherhood/#comments Fri, 03 Nov 2017 15:49:56 +0000 http://mwnation.com/?p=221216 Working as a nurse and midwife, Wilned Hara felt there was a big knowledge gap on safe motherhood in the country. He has since published a book, Family Guide to Safe Motherhood to bridge that gap. “Every day I see women struggling with preventable maternity problems. Women and newborn babies die from treatable conditions if…

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Working as a nurse and midwife, Wilned Hara felt there was a big knowledge gap on safe motherhood in the country.

He has since published a book, Family Guide to Safe Motherhood to bridge that gap.

Mothers need all the support from their families

“Every day I see women struggling with preventable maternity problems. Women and newborn babies die from treatable conditions if only their families knew how to detect problems early and seek medical help,” he explains.

A 2016 study by the White Ribbon Alliance found that there was acute shortage of midwives in Malawi working in the hospitals.

Hara notes that the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends one midwife for every 175 women of reproductive age, yet, in Malawi, one midwife takes care of 1 199 women.

“According to a study by Kongyuy E.J, Mlava G. and Van De Broek N. in 2009, this shortage directly or indirectly affected the ability of midwives to provide education on safe motherhood to families, consequently resulting in significant deaths or complications for women and children,” says the midwife.

The reasons above, coupled with the many questions he got from the public whenever he blogged on safe motherhood convinced him to take another step in providing information to the public in a convenient way, hence, the book.

Family Guide to Safe Motherhood takes individuals through pre-conception, how to conceive, successful pregnancy and childbirth.

“A woman needs to be in good physical and psychological condition before getting pregnant and if she has any health problems, she needs to address them to increase her chances of a successful pregnancy.

“The book empowers families to actively take part in promoting safe motherhood. Men and other members of the family will have no excuse in caring for a pregnant woman and newborn as there is sufficient information for them,” says Hara.

The 2015/16 Malawi Health and Demographic Survey found that progress is slow in the fight against maternal and newborn deaths.

It says 439 out of every 100 000 women are dying due to pregnancy and childbirth related complications, not taking into account the women who are surviving with life altering complications such as fistula.

According to Hara, Greece and Estonia have less than three maternity related deaths out of the same 100 000 women, adding that Malawi needs to do more.

He claims to have received positive feedback from those who have bought the book so far.

Hara graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Midwifery at Kamuzu College of Nursing (KCN) and is currently working with Chatinkha Maternity Wing at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital.

Director of Improved Midwifery care Access Initiative (IMCAI) Dan Kawaye said the book complements their efforts to increasing access to quality sexual, reproductive, maternal and child health services.

“Malawi, with one of the highest cases of maternal deaths, needs more innovations. Every action counts and every life counts,” he said. n

 

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‘I walked out, the world did not end’ http://mwnation.com/walked-world-not-end/ http://mwnation.com/walked-world-not-end/#comments Fri, 29 Sep 2017 16:35:02 +0000 http://mwnation.com/?p=218472 Joyce is a 35-year-old single woman. Childless and no boyfriend, she counts 2017 as the fourth year since divorce. While she admits that it gets lonely sometimes, she says there is not a single moment in her life now she could give to be part of her ex-husband. “I choose being alone a million times…

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Joyce is a 35-year-old single woman. Childless and no boyfriend, she counts 2017 as the fourth year since divorce.

While she admits that it gets lonely sometimes, she says there is not a single moment in her life now she could give to be part of her ex-husband.

Any form of abuse should not be tolarated

“I choose being alone a million times over him. I walked out! And the world didn’t end. My heart didn’t stop beating. Life continued for me and for everyone. It makes me cry with pride and gratitude that I finally made the right decision,” she says.

Her only regret is that it took her seven years to claim her life back.

“I still feel angry at myself for all the useless ideologies that held me back. This life is not a rehearsal. We will not live it again. I don’t care what you think you did to deserve it. You can NEVER deserve abuse. Make it stop,” she advises.

In 2013, the United Nations reported that almost half of African women experience physical or sexual violence compared with 35 percent globally.

The recent Malawi Health and Demographic Survey shows that Malawian women aged between 15 to 49 experience physical and/or sexual violence at least once in their lifetime.

Despite the existence of laws such as the Gender Equality Act that criminalise sexual harassment and harmful practices against women; the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act that tackles intimate partner and domestic violence, and the Childcare and Protective Justice Act, violence against vulnerable groups in communities continues to arise.

Human rights lawyer Habiba Osman believes that most people do not report cases of violence, but with the emergence of social media and other platforms including WhatsApp, people are free to circulate cases of violence faster and family members can use others to share information of those being abused.

She cites the cases of the woman who was brutally harmed by her husband and that of the woman stabbed to death by her former lover.

The human rights lawyer advises that the culture of silence in Malawi must be tackled to allow victims report cases of violence.

“Pressure and stigma from community and family members cause victims not to report cases of violence. This is a culture of impunity that we must all break. All in all, the rising number of reported cases of violence means the media is doing its job,” she said.

Osman further notes that Malawi has done well to pass laws such as the Domestic Violence Act, Gender Equality Act, Penal Code and Trafficking in Persons Act among the many gender related laws that talk of equality for women and their protection to enjoy human rights, because chiefs have began using the laws to create their own bylaws.

However, she notes that the problem of impunity remains as people think violence is a domestic matter which calls for the need to ensure the enforcement of laws by police and courts that have shown lenience on domestic violence or intimate partner violence.

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Miss Malawi engages Ngabu on overpopulation http://mwnation.com/miss-malawi-engages-ngabu-overpopulation/ Wed, 06 Sep 2017 11:13:06 +0000 http://mwnation.com/?p=216363 Traditional Authority (T/A) Ngabu in Chikwawa has committed his support to the Miss Malawi cause of managing the country’s ravaging overpopulation, describing the Malawi queen’s visit to his area as a ‘great motivation’. Reigning queen Cecilia Khofi made an impromptu visit to the chief’s residence on Friday, on the sidelines of her appointment to Pashello…

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Traditional Authority (T/A) Ngabu in Chikwawa has committed his support to the Miss Malawi cause of managing the country’s ravaging overpopulation, describing the Malawi queen’s visit to his area as a ‘great motivation’.

Reigning queen Cecilia Khofi made an impromptu visit to the chief’s residence on Friday, on the sidelines of her appointment to Pashello Charity Trust, where she donated assorted groceries and addressed vulnerable groups, including orphans and widows on matters of education, child marriages and overpopulation.

‘Let’s work together’, Khofi tells Ngabu

Ngabu was not present at the Pashello Charity Trust event, but Khofi, with the company of group village head (GVH) Misongwe, visited the chief, to share notes of her work.

During their short encounter, the two discussed key issues to do with population, particularly focusing on the role of community leaders to reduce the problem.

“I thought it wise to meet the T/A so that I get his support in my campaign to address overpopulation. I am aware that chiefs are key to influencing decisions among their subjects. So, I want chiefs to work with me in this project,” said Khofi.

On his part, Ngabu expressed gratitude at the Malawi queen’s impromptu visit, saying it was the first time for a Miss Malawi to visit his area.

“I have been a chief for about 18 years, but this is the first time for Miss Malawi to visit my area. I am really humbled to host her because this will help to inspire girls in my area to stay in school. But I need more of her activities so that we work together in addressing problem of overpopulation,” said Ngabu, encouraging Khofi to reach out to rural areas so as to achieve meaningful change.

He described the Miss Malawi theme ‘Managing overpopulation, as critical for achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)’ as well-thought.

“I must acknowledge that this year’s Miss Malawi theme is in line with global and national efforts to achieving SDGs. So, she has my total support,” he said.

Asked how he is contributing to the fight against overpopulation, Ngabu said he has intensified by-laws aimed at arresting child marriages and promoting women’s rights to family planning (FP).

Misongwe said his area needs intensive campaigns by the office of Miss Malawi to save women from destruction.

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Executive stand up against maternal mortality http://mwnation.com/executive-stand-maternal-mortality/ http://mwnation.com/executive-stand-maternal-mortality/#comments Fri, 25 Aug 2017 15:03:39 +0000 http://mwnation.com/?p=215692 At the age of seven, Vera Kamtukule, now chief executive officer (CEO) of Malawi Scotland Partnership (Masp) moved to Zingwangwa Township. With her father, now deceased, working for Blantyre City Council (BCC), and her mother working for Lonhro that time, Vera and her siblings spent the greater part of the day with the a nanny…

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At the age of seven, Vera Kamtukule, now chief executive officer (CEO) of Malawi Scotland Partnership (Masp) moved to Zingwangwa Township.

With her father, now deceased, working for Blantyre City Council (BCC), and her mother working for Lonhro that time, Vera and her siblings spent the greater part of the day with the a nanny or playing with friends.

Mothers have no privacy in most public hospitals

She recalls that one day her friend took her to Zingwangwa Health Centre—about two kilometres from where they lived. The clinic provided free porridge to children their age.

“What we did not know was that these children had to be malnourished or suffering from kwashiorkor or marasmus. We got to the clinic and we were put on the line by a health worker, given cups and spoons and we received the porridge. It was porridge made from maize flour mixed with groundnut flour [phala la mgaiwa lotsira nsinjiro],” Kamtukule recounts.

She went back home and never mentioned it to the nanny or her parents. The trend went on for almost a week, until her parents found out, earning her a beating from her mother. But she has never forgotten the taste of that porridge.

And this prompted her to participate in Nation Publications Limited’s (NPL) sleepover initiative at Zingwangwa Health Centre last Friday, to give back to the clinic.

“I appeal to all well-wishers to support me and others in this noble cause so that hospital equipment can be acquired for the chosen clinics and contribute towards improved maternal health in Malawi,” she said.

Kamtukule is among top women executives, including the CEO for NPL Mbumba Banda who, under the initiative, will participate in sleepovers planned for Zingwangwa Health Centre, Limbe Health Centre and Ndirande Health Centre on different dates.

The initiative is aimed at raising funds for the 2017 Mothers’ Fun Run, a project supporting safe motherhood.

Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) communications manager Clara Mwafulirwa is another participant.

As a mother who has gone through labour, she felt for other mothers and would like to see a situation where all mothers enjoy their birth giving experiences no matter where they are.

“I imagined myself as a pregnant mother sleeping on the floor and having no privacy. Women face a lot of problems in health centres and this saddened me.  In Blantyre alone, an average of 48 mothers, as per United nations Population Fund (UNFPA)  2016 data findings, die while giving birth. So, I said I will set up time to help raise awareness on the plight of mothers by participating in the sleepover,” said Mwafulirwa.

She also observed that government alone cannot do everything, which begs the need for everyone to join hands and make things better.

NPL marketing manager Albert Banda said ‘sleepover’ is an international fundraising concept that allows directors, CEOs, top managers, members of Parliament and entrepreneurs to connect on a personal level for a common purpose.

“This sleepover has been designed for top female executives to appreciate challenges and harsh realities our mothers face in public hospitals. Through the sleepover, we aim at raising awareness of these challenges to the larger audience and the corporate world, while at the same time appealing for funds,” said Banda.

He said besides making monetary contributions for buying medical equipment, the sleepover would afford the female executives an opportunity to make a difference by raising awareness of the challenging realities mothers go through in their child-bearing process. n

 

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Every bride needs some advice to prepare them for the life ahead http://mwnation.com/every-bride-needs-advice-prepare-life-ahead/ http://mwnation.com/every-bride-needs-advice-prepare-life-ahead/#comments Fri, 18 Aug 2017 16:32:46 +0000 http://mwnation.com/?p=215146 Living at a house close to an events venue in the populous Bangwe Township, Andrew Kamale has practically attended numerous bridal showers traditionally women-only events, from the comfort of his home. He has heard diverse pieces of advice being dished out to young women as they transition into marriage, from his own compound as he…

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Living at a house close to an events venue in the populous Bangwe Township, Andrew Kamale has practically attended numerous bridal showers traditionally women-only events, from the comfort of his home.

He has heard diverse pieces of advice being dished out to young women as they transition into marriage, from his own compound as he rests on weekends, and being a man, he believes most of the pieces of advice given do not take into account that men are different.

Every bride needs some advice to prepare them for the life ahead

“One size does not always fit all, but then the advice often given does not take that into account. They give advice as if all men like the same things, but men and their needs are different. They might say you need to do this thing or that to keep your husband, but what works for one man will not always work for the other man,” he says.

He further argues that it is unfortunate that the groom is often discussed in his absence.

Blantyre-based bridal shower speaker, Joanna Kayisiya says a bridal shower is a tradition that is aimed at helping the bride as she assumes her new role as wife and setting up her new household.

“A bridal shower is all about the bride getting advice and insight from women that have seen it all in marriage, and in my view, this passing down of information should be kept sacred. I believe that if men are present at the bridal shower, it might change the dynamics of the day and what could have been a wonderful time to chat about ‘girly’ topics,” she says.

Marriage counsellor, Inkosi Chimalizeni does not subscribe to the notion of bridal showers.

He says: “I, for one, think it would be best if people had send-offs, where they are both there to listen to the advice, unlike bridal showers where it is only the woman. It is unfortunate that culture dictates that it is the woman that needs advice more than the man. But consider this, they are both new to marriage and both need counsel,” he says.

He says this is probably why it is often men that bring troubles in relationships. “We want to help the woman keep her marriage by offering the advice, but what about the man? The majority of men do things in marriage through trial and error, and end up erring. For the betterment of marriage, they both need to be counselled,” says the marriage counsellor.

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Women Inspire advancing girls’ lives http://mwnation.com/women-inspire-advancing-girls-lives/ Fri, 18 Aug 2017 16:27:41 +0000 http://mwnation.com/?p=215138 Women Inspire Foundation, a growing female community aimed at helping women and girls realise their full potential held its first graduation of a programme called Msungwana wa Lero. “We launched the programme with girls from Chief Makata’s area in Ndirande, Blantyre in January 2017. Since then our volunteers, who were specially trained for the job,…

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Women Inspire Foundation, a growing female community aimed at helping women and girls realise their full potential held its first graduation of a programme called Msungwana wa Lero.

“We launched the programme with girls from Chief Makata’s area in Ndirande, Blantyre in January 2017. Since then our volunteers, who were specially trained for the job, have been meeting the girls every Sunday from March to July.

“They were under the United States Agency for International Development (USaid) Dreams Toolkit curriculum that included topics on personal development and capacity-building,” said the organisation’s founder, Deliwe Makata.

The graduation, which took place on August 12, saw 35 girls receiving certificates.

She said the day also celebrated Women Inspire volunteers for the job well done,  awarding them with certificates, too.

The graduation was graced by Mulanje West parliamentarian Patricia Kaliati, who hailed the initiative.

“We need more organisations in the country to help in implementing government policies just like Women Inspire is doing. When girls are equipped with leadership skills, it will be easier to have them in decision making positions in future,” said Kaliati.

She also noted that when girls are empowered, they will be able to say ‘no’ to boys and men, and they will become winners.

“Most girls get in trouble because they do not know how to say ‘no’ or to stand up for themselves. They get into relationships they do not want, or get impregnated or raped because they cannot say ‘no’,” she said.

Those who graduated will now join Women Inspire’s alumni project, which involves a more practical approach to change.

“We expect that after teaching them for five months, and showing traceable records of change, they will become the ambassadors of the project to girls in other areas.

“As such, one of the things they will be doing will be to stand as models to our other initiatives that are going on in other areas. The girls will be expected to also speak and share their areas of change as a way of encouraging those that are still going in the project,” Makata said.

She added that the organisation’s work revolves around establishing highly impactful projects in communities and within the organisation to further the lives of the volunteers.

“We have a couple of projects lined up, that will see many women and girls learning and taking active roles in leading and development first themselves, then their communities,” she said.

Among the challenges they faced in executing their objectives, the founder said finances and acceptance is the biggest, considering that the organisation is still young.

Women Inspire Foundation is currently running two programmes, namely Msungwana wa Lero and Tsogolo Lathu.

Women Inspire has reached out and helped hundreds of women and girls in civic leadership, education and career guidance. They currently have projects in Ndirande, Blantyre; Chinsapo in Lilongwe and Tom Allan Village in Zomba.

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Drop that excuse http://mwnation.com/drop-that-excuse/ http://mwnation.com/drop-that-excuse/#comments Sun, 30 Jul 2017 05:09:15 +0000 http://mwnation.com/?p=213511   Are you the kind of person who always finds excuses for his shortcomings? If so, it is time to find out why, start doing something about it and drop that excuse. Excuses are nails which failures use in building their houses; you cannot go far in life if you live a life full of…

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Are you the kind of person who always finds excuses for his shortcomings? If so, it is time to find out why, start doing something about it and drop that excuse.

Excuses are nails which failures use in building their houses; you cannot go far in life if you live a life full of excuses. The habit of constantly making excuses for oneself can have multiple impacts, ranging from laughingly being referred to as undependable to being considered overly defensive and paranoid.

People who like excuses often push the blame on others

You know your excuses have become a problem if someone confronts you about it, even if it is in a joking manner. Worse still, people may not seem to respect or trust you. Your friends and colleagues view you as the last person they can ask for a favor and no one wants to be that person.

How do you stop making excuses?

  1. Face the facts: As with most bad habits, the first step to dealing with excuse-making is to acknowledge that you have this problem. The act will never resolve itself, conscious effort need to be made to resolve the problem. Don’t procrastinate and hope it will resolve itself.
  2. Another step to stopping making excuses is to examine how much you view life as being under your control. Excuses are often made to shift blame away to circumstances beyond our control. For example if you hear yourself saying that you cannot lose weight because your partner bakes too much, you are shifting the blame to someone external and you instead need to take personal responsibility.
  3. Understand self-efficacy. Your belief in your ability to complete a task greatly influences the actual accomplishment of that task, whether it is a work, fitness, or personal goals. Self-efficacy is based on your past experiences with a task, seeing how others have experienced the same task, how people treat you related to performing that task, and your emotional cues related to the task.
  4. Increase your sense of self-efficacy. There are many things you can do to start building up your confidence in yourself. Small changes allow you to quickly meet goals and start increasing your self-efficacy. Try making small changes to start. Instead of revamping your entire diet, start by increasing your water intake for a week, then move on to decreasing sugary treats the week after that. Reflect on past successes.
  5. Examine your own excuses. Make a list of the excuses you make, consider why you make them, and decide which ones you want to work on stopping first. Review the excuses you are making about your performance at work. If you find you complain about deadlines, for example, maybe you need to re-examine your workflow process. Consider what excuses you make about getting healthy. Think about the excuses you make about achieving your life goals. Make a list of what you want to accomplish in life and list off why you feel you aren’t achieving these goals, then try to problem solve ways to overcome any personal obstacles you find. Remember that nothing will change until you do. n

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Inspired by women to lose weight http://mwnation.com/inspired-women-lose-weight/ http://mwnation.com/inspired-women-lose-weight/#comments Fri, 07 Jul 2017 13:44:13 +0000 http://mwnation.com/?p=212129 Fat shaming is common among peers, siblings, parents and partners among others. For some people it brings about positive results as they are inspired to do something about their weight. It did for 36-year-old Mac Zakulanda. “I started exercising because of my wife Gertrude. She always mocked me of being lazy and idle; just eating,…

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Fat shaming is common among peers, siblings, parents and partners among others. For some people it brings about positive results as they are inspired to do something about their weight. It did for 36-year-old Mac Zakulanda.

“I started exercising because of my wife Gertrude. She always mocked me of being lazy and idle; just eating, getting fat without exercise. I then started running, but could hardly cover a one kilometre stretch. I joined one of the gyms, but only with the intention of lifting weights. A trainer advised me to start cardiovascular exercises until I lost some kilogrammes,” he explains.

He remembers the trainer telling him how bad he was, being so obese.

“I hated him for this, because I felt good being big. I thought it meant greatness. I then joined aerobics and this changed my mindset entirely,” says Zakulanda who currently weighs 91 kilogrammes having lost 30 kilogrammes.

He was amazed to see women jump so high. Zakulanda says in a team of almost 20, only three were men and he admits that the women who could run, skip, sprint up the Kamuzu Stadium stands- something that was a challenge to him.

Now he is a source of motivation for others through his Facebook posts. Looking at his ‘before and after’ photographs, one would think he took herbs or medicines to shed off weight, but he claims he has never taken any slimming pills.

Zakulanda’s jogs and still goes for aerobics, boxing and treadmills, coupled with proper dieting.

“I cut down on carbohydrates, sugars and fatty foods. My diet comprises brown rice or mgaiwa, high-fibre cereals, fruits and vegetables. I substitute honey for sugar and also drink a lot of water. I have made exercise part of me, training twice daily. I am into body building to tone my body,” says Zakulanda who was also named the Ulaya Classics Most Transformed Man.

He testifies that his life has improved tremendously with his new lifestyle. He now sleeps without snoring and has even changed his clothes’ size from 44 to 34/36.

He advises all who would like to start exercising that it is never too late to go for it.

“The beginning is always hard, but do not give up, you will make it. Go for skipping, running or aerobics. You never know what will work well for you,” he advises. n

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Workplace manners http://mwnation.com/workplace-manners/ Fri, 23 Jun 2017 15:34:31 +0000 http://mwnation.com/?p=211307 What makes human beings different from animals is simply etiquette. Etiquette makes people cultured individuals who influence their world positively and leave marks on the sand of time. Everyone wants to associate with a person who does not know how to relate well in society. When our behaviour in public is questionable, then we are…

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What makes human beings different from animals is simply etiquette. Etiquette makes people cultured individuals who influence their world positively and leave marks on the sand of time.

Everyone wants to associate with a person who does not know how to relate well in society.

When our behaviour in public is questionable, then we are rated as animals, this is why we should not behave irrationally or illogically.

Etiquette means behaving in a socially responsible way. It teaches people how to talk, walk and most importantly behave in society. It is essential for an everlasting first impression, and inculcates a feeling of trust and loyalty in the individuals, makes people become more responsible and mature. 

What etiquette should be displayed at the workplace?

Avoid social media: Unless your job requires you to peruse social networking sites all day, avoid them while you are on the clock. Though surfing Facebook or Twitter might be tempting, it can be detrimental to your work performance and productivity.

Take that phone call elsewhere: Everyone has a cellphone these days, so getting personal calls at work is pretty much unavoidable. But do not assume that just because your phone rings, it is alright to take it right at your desk. If you get a personal call, excuse yourself and answer it in private.

Gossip: The big no-no. Who has not been tempted to speculate on the lives of their co-workers? It is especially tempting when everyone else in the office is doing it. But remember that gossip says more about you than it does about the person you are discussing. Do not talk about others, and keep your personal life private to discourage water-cooler talk about you.

Keep emails formal: Email seems pretty casual, doesn’t it? It is not like correspondence on letterhead that requires careful composition and proofreading – right? Contrary to popular belief, work emails should be held to the same formal standards that you would hold any other office correspondence. So toss the slang, get the punctuation right and proofread before you hit send.

Watch your language: No matter how comfortable you are with your co-workers, or how casual your office may seem, blurting out a curse word can get you noticed for all the wrong reasons. Let your words lift others rather than pull them down, so keep your language clean.

Dress smart: There are many places where expressing your unique style is a fantastic thing to do.  Dress appropriately for the work place. In other words, save the see-through dresses, sandals with socks, muscle shirts, and plunging necklines for other occasions.

Remember that scents travel: Do you have an allergy to perfume or cologne? Do you get a headache when you smell spicy food? Some of your colleagues might. Keep those potent lunches away from your desk, and do not overdo it on the fragrances. Those around you will be grateful.

Knock before entering: Sometimes an informal office atmosphere can go too far. That is especially true when people start drifting from one cubicle or office to the next, without bothering to knock or otherwise announce their presence. Treat others as though they are in the midst of serious business — even if they aren’t — and knock before you enter their personal space.

Stay home if you are sick: It seems like an obvious rule, but when you’re stuck in the rat race, dropping out for a few days of the flu can seem detrimental to your career. However, going to work sick does more harm than good. Not only does it make you feel worse and potentially spread your germs to others, when you’re under the weather your productivity most likely suffers. Make life easier on everyone and use those sick days.

Save the job search for home: Looking for a new job? Do not do it on company time. Not only might someone get wind of your search (and feed that information into the gossip mill), but taking time away from your current employer to look for a new one is just plain rude.

Whether you are in a high-stress office or a relaxed small business, etiquette matters. Brush up on it now to continue making a great impression on your boss, co-workers and clients. 

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LL school commemorates Menstrual Hygiene Day http://mwnation.com/ll-school-commemorates-menstrual-hygiene-day/ Fri, 02 Jun 2017 13:04:58 +0000 http://mwnation.com/?p=209645 Southern Africa Aids Trust (Saat) has advised school-going girls to take pride in menstruation as a natural gift for women and not a challenge to deter them from progressing with education. Saat country director Robert Mangwazu-Phiri offered the advice recently during the commemoration of Menstrual Hygiene Day at Chiwamba primary school in Lilongwe. He observed…

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Southern Africa Aids Trust (Saat) has advised school-going girls to take pride in menstruation as a natural gift for women and not a challenge to deter them from progressing with education.

Saat country director Robert Mangwazu-Phiri offered the advice recently during the commemoration of Menstrual Hygiene Day at Chiwamba primary school in Lilongwe.

Girls marching before the main event

He observed that most girls miss an average of 15 school days per term during which they experience menstruation periods. He said this makes the girls miss a lot of knowledge.

Said Mangwazu-Phiri: “It may happen that during the days they are absent, their colleagues are learning examinable materials and this will put them on the margin during examinations.”

He said to keep girls in school, 10 non-governmental organisations are implementing a programme to facilitate the making and using of reusable sanitary pads.

Under the programme, mother groups in various schools work with girls to make reusable pads and distribute to girls who have reached menstruation age.

One of the project implementing organisations, the Centre for Youth Development and Social Empowerment (CYDSE) said the project is showing good progress.

CYDSE executive director Nefitale Chizongo said apart from encouraging the use of reusable sanitary pads, the project is also facilitating construction of change rooms for girls in schools.

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The case of a step child http://mwnation.com/the-case-of-a-step-child/ Fri, 26 May 2017 11:54:17 +0000 http://mwnation.com/?p=209145 Aged 29, Violet is a stepmother to an 11-year-old daughter. She thinks her step daughter is the typical spoilt ‘daddy’s girl’ who always has everything her way from the time her mother walked away six years ago. She cannot tell her when to go to bed, when to study and cannot even say no to…

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Aged 29, Violet is a stepmother to an 11-year-old daughter. She thinks her step daughter is the typical spoilt ‘daddy’s girl’ who always has everything her way from the time her mother walked away six years ago.

She cannot tell her when to go to bed, when to study and cannot even say no to her requests for sleep overs.

Disciplining children should be a joint effort

The youngster does whatever pleases her and Violet wonders what kind of an adult she will turn out to be if she as a mother cannot discipline her.

Eye of the Child executive director Maxwell Matewere stresses the need for everyone to understand the importance of disciplining children.

“It is very important, but we should use methods which teach children how the mistake could have been avoided. In other words, we should try at all cost to use positive discipline approach.

“We also need not rush in judging children.  We need to understand the problem and come up with a discipline method that will make the child understand the mistake and not create fear in him or her,” he says.

However, certain step parents are simply abusive in nature regardless of whether the step children are well behaved or not; bringing about long lasting negative effects on the abused children.

For this, the child rights activist suggests that couples planning to divorce should be properly counseled and present proper child care plans in court with well spelt out commitments.

“Most of these things are in the new Marriage, Divorce and Family Relations Act, but have not been put to good use. We must understand why the new law has included issues related to family relations. Mostly it is to protect the interests of children,” he says.

The rate of abuse against step children is high in the country, according to Matewere and he says it has remained the number one crime against children for the past five to six years.

Sociologist Charles Chilimampunga noted that for some stepparents, the step child is a constant reminder of a past relationship that the spouse had, which in some cases not only strains the relationship between the couple, but also between the parents and children.

He observes that effects of abuse may be long lasting and are wide ranging from child failure in school, bad behaviour, suicide attempts, drug and alcohol abuse; poor health, violent behaviour, withdrawal and crime among others.

Matewere reminds parents that children learn everything from them as they grow up and that everything done to them or other children is exactly what they will do to others when they grow up. 

“If you don’t educate your child you invest that child in poverty; if you call your child a dog,  that child will grow up behaving like a dog and if you fight as parents, children will look at that as the best way to settle differences.  It is high time we taught our children through our actions,” he says. 

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Staying in an unhappy marriage http://mwnation.com/staying-in-an-unhappy-marriage/ Sun, 30 Apr 2017 08:08:30 +0000 http://mwnation.com/?p=206971 People often talk about everything that is wrong in their marriages, but they remain undecided on whether to leave or not. Discussing why people stay in unhappy marriages on social media last week, one member of a Facebook group cited that staying in an unhappy relationship shows lack of self confidence and self love. “Life…

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People often talk about everything that is wrong in their marriages, but they remain undecided on whether to leave or not.

Discussing why people stay in unhappy marriages on social media last week, one member of a Facebook group cited that staying in an unhappy relationship shows lack of self confidence and self love.

“Life is too short and happiness is everything,” she argues.

Another view from a female contributor to the debate was that some people are always positive that things will change.

“The reality of life is that you cannot change someone. It does not matter how hard you try,” she says.

Mary Khumbanyiwa, a Chancellor College sociology graduate notes that in our society, most women stay in unhappy marriages because after child birth or invested years into the marriage, they tend to lose their self worth and are usually scared to start all over again with someone new.

She further notes that men are not good at initiating a divorce if the wife does not ask for it.

“They will keep living the way things are until she gets tired, packs her bags and leaves. However, others stay because despite the unhappy marriage, they get to have an outlet system. They might have ‘side chicks’ for instance, in which case the misery being experienced in the marriage weighs less on them. Plus it saves on the alimony,” she says.

Another sociologist, Martin Lefu points out that religious and cultural norms discourage divorce as marriage is considered sacred.

He notes that this is why divorcees and children from divorced parents are usually looked down upon in society.

“Our culture does not really condone divorce. As such people would rather stay in unhappy marriages. Most of them live with the hope that things would get better with their spouses. Apart from that, financial insecurity is a contributing factor, especially for women.

“Despite the strides in women gaining financial independence in the country, most of them are still dependent on their husbands for financial needs. So, the fear of living in poverty usually overrides the necessity of leaving unhappy marriages for most women,” says Lefu.

Sociologists argue that investments in forms of time, efforts and money make people more prone to stay and invest in a relationship in which they are not happy.

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School girls on a prestigious US trip http://mwnation.com/school-girls-on-a-prestigious-us-trip/ Fri, 21 Apr 2017 12:50:02 +0000 http://mwnation.com/?p=206537 Five girls from secondary schools in Zomba were all smiles as they boarded the plane to the United States of America for a three-week educational exchange under the Pan-African Youth Leadership Programme (PAYLP). The programme is funded by the US Government to give participants a unique educational exchange experience, according to the US Embassy public…

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Five girls from secondary schools in Zomba were all smiles as they boarded the plane to the United States of America for a three-week educational exchange under the Pan-African Youth Leadership Programme (PAYLP).

The programme is funded by the US Government to give participants a unique educational exchange experience, according to the US Embassy public affairs officer, Edward Monster.

The girls and the teacher captured on departure

“PAYLP works to promote mutual understanding and strengthen the connections between the people of the US and Sub-Saharan Africa. It has created an impressive alumni base for young African leaders who continue to impact their communities. It provides leadership training, cultural excursions and classroom instruction to talented and dedicated high school students aged between the ages of 15-18,” he says.

The programme is implemented by Meridian International Centre and has partnered with two institutes of higher education in the US to create a programme focused on social entrepreneurship and civic responsibility.

The institutions are Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana and the University of Texas in Austin.

“Each institute will provide opportunities for academic study, service learning, field trips, site visits, community service, leadership training, conflict resolution training, and cultural exchanges,” said Monster.

 This year’s Malawian participants include Ivy Namaranya from Pirimiti Community Day Secondary School (CDSS); Sheila M’bawa from Chilunga CDSS; Caroline Samu from Ulongwe CDSS; Esther Chosalana from St Charles Lwanwa CDSS and Tawina Chaposa from Mulunguzi Secondary School. There is also Angelesa Limbe, a teacher from St Louis Montfort CDSS.

 Since 2014, 14 Malawians have participated in PAYLP. The programme has been strengthening the students’ understanding of civic rights and responsibilities, respect for diversity, and the importance of community engagement.

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Interior design re-defined http://mwnation.com/interior-design-re-defined/ Fri, 14 Apr 2017 14:42:00 +0000 http://mwnation.com/?p=205968 Belle Afrique Interior Design, situated at the Uta Waleza Complex in Blantyre is redefining interior designing in the country for homes, offices and shops. Realising the little diversity for household props in the country, all that the new venture wants is to offer uniqueness. “People like unique things. But the case for Malawi is that…

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Belle Afrique Interior Design, situated at the Uta Waleza Complex in Blantyre is redefining interior designing in the country for homes, offices and shops.

Realising the little diversity for household props in the country, all that the new venture wants is to offer uniqueness.

“People like unique things. But the case for Malawi is that if you see something in one house then you are likely to find it in 10 other houses. We offer imports from South Africa,” says co-founder of Belle Afrique Interior Designs, Ane Colyn.

Importing from South Africa is another way Belle Afrique is promoting regional trade by supporting fellow African manufacturers.

The designers have been on the market for a year now. They evaluate what a client has and re-works to create something different.

Lee Chisale is another co-founder and adds that they also work with builders, architects and carpenters.

She notes that people often associate interior design with huge expenses, but she points out that it is really all about trying new things.

“We advise clients to work with what they have. One does not always have to buy new stuff to give a face-lift to a room. And we can give clients different options within their budgets.

“If for instance one cannot afford to buy a whole new lounge, we may advise them to buy just one new couch which could make all the difference and turn the rooms around,” says Chisale.

Colyn adds: “Moving things around makes a room more inviting. Some people may dislike their spaces without realising the real problem. When they engage us, we spot the wrong and make it right,” she says. 

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How to announce first pregnancy to parents http://mwnation.com/how-to-announce-first-pregnancy-to-parents/ Sun, 02 Apr 2017 14:03:31 +0000 http://mwnation.com/?p=204996 Getting pregnant is an exciting time for couples, especially if it is a first pregnancy. It is only normal to want to share that enthusiasm with the world, starting with the family. However, breaking the pregnancy news to parents can be menacing. People often find themselves restless over how they will tell their families and…

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Getting pregnant is an exciting time for couples, especially if it is a first pregnancy. It is only normal to want to share that enthusiasm with the world, starting with the family.

However, breaking the pregnancy news to parents can be menacing. People often find themselves restless over how they will tell their families and how they are going to react.

Do we surprise parents or notify them officially about a pregnancy

Over the years, people have come up with many exciting ways of announcing a pregnancy in a way that brings out a positive reaction from parents.

 According to an article on healthline.com, couples in the Western world often use the classic bun-in-the-oven reveal, where the couple gives parents a homemade bun marked with a ‘B’.

In a discussion on a women’s local social media platform last week, women revealed different ways of communicating such news to parents from both sides.

One woman wrote: “We sent texts to our parents that said ‘breaking news… we are expecting!’ And we put the number of weeks. It will depend though, on the kind of relationship you have with the in-laws, but I am sure with your mother it would be easier to come out plain and tell her. The same would apply with your mother in-law, if you have a good relationship.”

Commenting on the same post, another woman argued that you do not announce pregnancy because it eventually shows on its own as it grows.

Some people simply drop some hints for the parents to pick on. “I just made time to go and visit my mother in-law one weekend. And as we sat and talked, I kept getting up as if to spit out saliva in the rest room. My mother in-law got it. And when I was leaving later that evening, she simply advised that we should alert her when nearing the due date,” recalls another.

A different article on babycenter.com argues that there is nothing wrong with just calling them up and saying, “Guess what?” But then some expectant parents just like to liven things up a little with all sorts of creative ways to make the announcement.

Giving your parents little gifts is another fun way to go, according to babycentre.com. Gift ideas include bibs, booties and pacifiers, but some couples prefer to give them something the parents will wear – like a shirt or hat that says “world’s best grandma” or “world’s best grandpa.” 

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