Sunday, June 28, 2009

Women of Mukakhe Village Join the Fray

Mukakhe is one of the villages in Kalinde area in Migowi, Phalombe where the ADRA Malawi’s Let Fight AIDS in Malawi (LEFAM) Project is doing its activities in helping to fight the HIV/AIDS pandemic, food security, home based care of the chronically ill etc.

To achieve its goals the project formed groups of women to discuss issues that are thorny in their communities and find solutions to these problems. Realizing that they are not part of the women’s group that was formed, other women in this village, led by Alefa Maiwala and Edna Magodi, were impressed with the good work that the Organization is doing in the village and felt they could lend a hand. They decided to mobilize other women and form their own group to help in what the ADRA women were doing. They also decided to go further by getting involved in message dissemination through dances and drama and strengthening food security and nutrition by setting up a group vegetable garden and encouraging the setting up of kitchen gardens in the village.

The group has gone further to lobby for the provision of safe water sources within the village, which has no borehole or water tap despite its size and population through knowledge attained from ADRA activities. These women also harbor the ambition of improving the members’ economic status through saving and lending.

Realizing the power of drama, yet not having any experience in drama, the group approached ADRA Community Worker in the area for some coaching. Since this was a separate group from ADRA’s group they had limited resources. They needed some seeds for the garden to supplement what they had contributed and bought. They also needed some equipment like drums for the dances. To make sure that their efforts are not in vain the group has been granted permission to use whatever equipment that is available within the ADRA groups.

The group was formed in April this year and has so far 25 members. As of now, they have set up the vegetable garden and planted using the seedlings they bought and what was donated by the Community Worker. ADRA regularly visits the group to encourage and build their capacity, through demonstrations, on how to make sunken beds, plant seedlings and mulch to preserve moisture and reduce watering frequency.

What is interesting with the group is that the village Chief tries to attend the group’s meetings and supports them in their activities. This makes ADRA feel that with some support, this group will be an important partner in the fight against the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

Author: Stanley Mpasa - District Coordinator

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