Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Partnerships for a successful program

By Elias Banda

The ADRA Action for Social Change Program (ASC) roll out got an overwhelming reception by the District Executive Committees (DECs) of the four selected districts that the program is being implemented in.

DEC meetings were organized in the three districts to sensitize governmental and non- governmental stakeholders on the program approach.

District officials in Machinga, Mulanje and Mzimba echoed the same view that the ASC program was the right approach to bring change in the targeted communities and pledged to support the planned activities. The Lilongwe DEC meeting has been scheduled to take place in April.

During presentations in Machinga and Mulanje, ADRA Malawi Programs Director Michael Usi said the program would use the ADRA media programs to advocate for positive change. These programs known as Zatonse and Tikuferanji will include both radio and television and will be broadcasted with the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation. He challenged DEC members to use the media platforms whenever they have pertinent developmental issues to be advocated for.

Before proceeding with DEC meeting in Mzimba, program staff sought audience with chief Ntwalo Jere III at his Headquarters to brief him about the program. The chief commended ADRA for the program and asked ADRA to scale up its activities in the rural areas.

With funds from Denmark, the nine-year program aims at strengthening a vibrant locally rooted civil society in Malawi which can be a dynamic actor in social, political and economical development process in areas of HIV /AIDS, food security and livelihood. The program will also focus on communication for social change processes, networking and partnership strengthening to bring about social change.

Throughout the program, it is hoped that targeted communities will be empowered through strengthened capacity, to advocate for change within their communities.

Each programmatic theme has its own targets. Under the HIV /AIDS domain, the program seeks to ensure that community based groups (CBGs) are ably engaged in HIV /AIDS activities and have improved ability to represent and express group interest with community, state and private market actors, at least by the end of the program period.

In its’ livelihood activities, the program will engage targeted community groups in sustainable livelihood and food security in order for them to have improved ability to represent group interests and interaction with community, state and private market actors.

Advocacy issues will be presented by targeted communities to relevant stakeholders that they identify, through the use of both local and national media platforms that will include more citizen voices, diverse views and perspectives of the most vulnerable and marginalized.

ADRA Malawi will work to strengthen its ability to effectively play its’ role as a civil society actor both nationally and internationally in order to advocate for the needs and rights of marginalized groups.

Through this program Action for Social Change, ADRA Malawi intends to facilitate the growth of vibrant and active communities who are empowered to pursue development for their community.

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