Update from Malawi – Banking, Technology and Permaculture
Hello there! It’s Jones here. There has been a lot going on here in Malawi the biggest being general elections. So much drama, so many promises- a good time to be in Malawi.
On the project front, I have a few updates to make from Lilongwe…
We are hiring! We are looking for a Field Officer for our Kapita Project in Mzimba to start work as soon as practically possible. The field officer will be based right in the community to work on daily basis with community leaders, project committee members and other stakeholders. The move is to ensure the smooth flow of information and ensure direct and continuous contact between Empower project staff and community members. We will be publicising this position shortly.
Our Zatuba Community Bank (ZCB) project is also in need of a consultant to help spearhead operations and management. Our internal review of the project showed gaps in the leadership and operations of the community bank. So far, we are engaging The Hunger Project to enter into a partnership to offer capacity building to members of ZCB. The Hunger Project is running a successful microfinance programme in the southern part of Malawi. The partnership will see beneficiaries of THP programme and beneficiaries of Empower Malawi having exchange educational visits. I had a planning meeting with some staff from The Hunger Project to exchange notes and an action plan is currently being drafted.
In other news, thanks to Empower supporters in Australia, Empower Malawi donated 1 laptop, 3 tablet computers and assorted children books to pupils at Kapita Primary School. The tablets and laptop will expose the kids to information technology to enhance daily learning. The tablets as well as the laptop came preloaded with various learning software and a full offline version of Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia. You will want to know that through Empower’s partnership with Mzuzu University and with funding from UNDP Small Grants Program, solar electricity was installed at Kapita Primary School back in 2013. Availability of solar electricity allowed us to donate computers to further education at the school.
Another project, the permaculture demonstration garden at Kapita Primary School also had a boost in April. Empower Malawi donated 1 wheelbarrow, 2 mattocks picks, 2 shovels, 2 rakes and 5 holes thanks to a financial donation from CB&I in the U.S. whose employee Darlene Baerg chose to donate her volunteer work hours to Empower through the company’s volunteer program. The Permaculture Committee which comprises learners, teachers and parents has done a stellar job in making sure the garden is well taken care of, including planting of new materials, composting, digging water traps. The school is already harvesting fruits like bananas and pineapples and distributes them to learner
That’s it for now folks. I will be back to give more updates very soon.
Over and Out,