Relationships and Sex Education

Mzuzu Apause in Malawi

A programme to establish peer taught Relationships and Sex Education in schools has been trialled in Malawi with great success.

 Learners respond best to informers to whom they identify a close connection and the trained school leaver peer educators provide this par excellence to form 1 and 3 students in secondary schools in Malawi.

The Mzuzu programme was developed in consultation with school leavers and students, life skills and head teachers, cultural experts, sexual health providers and church leaders. 10 sessions are delivered to form 1 and 8 to form 3. The pilot was supported by a small grant and personal donations from UK individuals, the largest donor being an ex peer educator from the UK programme.

The pilot programme has been hugely popular with students, peer educators, teachers, school managers, education and public health stakeholders who demanded that it be made available to all schools in Mzuzu rather than the 6 pilot schools agreed.

An external evaluation demonstrated that not only was it popular but it provided meaningful discussion based, learning of facts and learning and practising assertiveness and other relevant skills. One headmaster said that Apause had resulted in far fewer pregnancies and had also transformed other risk behaviours in his school; many have confirmed a reduction in pregnancies among students.

A small DFID application to develop and expand the project was rejected on what we believe to be ‘tick box style’ reviews rather than examining the rationale and validity of the project, our proven methods, evaluated experience and achievement in gaining the support of the community and schools.

The initial grant and donations, both designed for 'pump-priming' were used very economically but were  exhausted in 2012-13. We have since  received considerable donations from an anonymous local donor in Mzuzu who provided funds to support the transport costs of Peers to get to and fro the schools where they were leading the programme.. 

Great News!

We have teamed up with Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) in Malawi to collaborate in developing the programme in schools and communities and to reach out to new areas in Malawi.

Finding money from the Malawi National Aids Campaign in Malawi was set back by difficulties in registration as a Malawi NGO, the National “Cashgate” crisis and enquiry but has now been achieved.  The Malawi Trustees are incorporated as APAUSE with certificate TR/Inc 6975.

If you are interested in Apause overseas from the UK please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or  Contact us