Our Impact in 2021
The second year of the pandemic was no less challenging when it came to our work in the field. Having wrapped up our work in Kilinochchi, Sri Lanka, our efforts were focused on two regional projects in Malawi – Mchinji, and Lilongwe.
In this post, we’d like to share three highlights across these two regional projects in Malawi: across both our school and cooperative projects.
1. Solar Lighting and Eco-Sanitation for Mphanga Primary
Mphanga Primary has over 1,400 pupils enrolled and we’ve made fantastic progress in our collaborations with the staff, students and parents at this school.
The highlights include the installation of a solar system by our sister organisation, Zuwa Energy. As seen in the image below, this means that students are able to access good quality lighting in the evenings (or cloudy days), and attend night classes. The latter is particularly important for senior students sitting for high school entrance exams.
The school’s eco-sanitation was sponsored by Baby Angels Foundation (Ireland). They will go a long way to addressing issues with poor hygiene , absenteeism and time wasted queuing to use limited facilities.
We employed local artisans to build these urinals and toilets for girls and for boys, and their design is such that they can hygienically produce manure for the school’s orchards.
We are very optimistic about the path ahead for Mphanga Primary! Having engaged in extensive tree and crop planting across 2021, they aim to launch their school breakfast program in 2022!
2. A Meal Kitchen for Kakoma Primary School
Kakoma Primary, located in Malawi’s Lilongwe District, has an enrolment of over 1,000 pupils and they have made great strides towards establishing their school breakfast program. A community-run meal program is one of the central pillars of our work with schools, so we are very excited that Kakoma has reached this stage. This is the result of years of planning, design and community commitment to improving the wellbeing of their children.
In line with Kakoma Primary growing sufficient produce to drive a large-scale breakfast program, we supported this school with the construction of a meal kitchen. This would be the heart of the breakfast program and comes equipped with energy efficient stoves to save time and greatly reduce the use of firewood.
Like Mphanga Primary School, Kakoma is set to launch their school feeding program in 2022! We can’t wait to share the launch with you.
3. The Growth of Demera Cooperative
Demera Cooperative is a collective of smallholder farmers growing soya, maize and paprika in rural Lilongwe. Across 2021, with our support in the form of training and an interest-free loan, the cooperative has grown its membership base to 215 households.
A recent survey (n = 76) of members suggested that members were overwhelmingly satisfied with the cooperative’s performance, with over 80% of members stating that their incomes had grown significantly as a result of being members. Here’s a richer account of how a member’s experience of the cooperative.
We have also been working with SoPowerful Foundation to help Demera’s operations step up to a whole new level. This collaborative project will see the cooperative benefit from solar irrigation in 2022!
Well, that’s all for now. These are just some of the highlights from a productive 2021. We owe a debt of gratitude to our staff, particularly our tireless Project Manager Bright Msuku. We’d also like to thank our Community Champions, whose consistent support has enabled us to navigate these uncertain times.
If you’d love to get behind grassroots initiatives like this in Malawi and Sri Lanka, we’d love for you to join our tribe.