Chagwira-Betha MWAI's First Malawi Employee
Seasoned development professional, Florie Chagwira-Betha, has
been named to lead MWAI efforts in Malawi on the Malawi Early
Grade Reading Improvement Activity or MERIT project.
Malawi, located in southeastern Malawi, is a landlocked country
where 90% of the population works in agriculture. The country has
achieved approximately 90% primary school enrollment for girls and
boys, though school attendance and completion even through the
early grades remains a challenge.
Chagwira-Betha, named first full-time MWAI-Malawi employee in February 2016, has been active
in education and development in Malawi for over 16 years. She has significant expertise in
program management and community mobilization on issues related to education -- specifically to
girls' education, early grade reading, scholarship programs, gender, HIV/AIDS prevention, child
labor, and youth empowerment.
With MWAI, Florie is the Safe Spaces and Gender Specialist in the five-year MERIT project. RTI
of North Carolina is the lead contractor; MWAI is one of several subcontractors with a specific
The MERIT initiative supports the Government of Malawi's new National Reading Program. In her
role, Florie is working with officials in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MOEST)
and with the Ministry of Gender. With MOEST, she works with officials who in turn train and
mentor Primary Education Advisors and then teachers to help them teach reading.
Florie's contract with MWAI, which lasts through 2020, also calls on her skills as a Safe Spaces
and Gender Specialist. Part of her duties include helping schools and communities develop and
maintain schools that let all students, but particularly girls, feel safe in school and during their
travel to and from school.
Florie holds a Master of Science degree in Strategic Management from the University of Derby in
the United Kingdom, a Bachelors' in Education from the University of Malawi and an Advanced
Diploma in Child Rights, School and Classroom Management from Lund University in Sweden.
She is a lifelong learner who likes networking.
"Over the years, through the projects that she has been involved in and managed, Florie has
contributed to good practices that can bring remarkable results when contextually applied,"
according to MWAI President & CEO, Shirley Miske. "We are pleased to have Florie as our first
full-time MWAI employee in Malawi. With her leadership, and with support from other MWAI
short-term technical advisors, we are delighted with the contributions Florie has made to the
NRP and MERIT in her first year."