Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Beer drinking time changed to curb crime

 By Redson Damalekani

Prolonged beer drinking time in Muhiyo group village community in Mulanje District has provided fertile environment for rapists, forcing community members to enact laws restricting beer drinking.
 Revelers could still hang at the drinking joints for up to midnight while hatching plans to rape women and girls. A primary school teacher’s wife was recently raped on her way to draw water, a situation that triggered community discussion to find a lasting solution on the matter. The issue was reported to police who have since launched a man hunt for the rapists, who are still on the run.
Several rape attempts have been reported, increasing fear among girls and women who use routes linking several drinking places in the area.
One woman bemoaned the increase of men who could afford to drink beer the whole day in the area at the expense of household and community development. She said that some men were reflecting bad manners to the young boys who are desperately in need of role models.

a community dialogue session in progress
A community dialogue session involving community based groups (CBGs) supported by ADRA Malawi through the Action for Social Change Program were organized by community volunteers to discuss the issue and resolved that beer binges should close business at 15:00 pm, and those acting in defiance would pay a hefty fine. CBGs are now collaborating with community police forums to reduce incidences of crime.
The groups also agreed to conduct a series focus groups discussions with men to curb the issue of excessive beer drinking in the area.

The Action for Social Change Program is being supported by ADRA Denmark to bring about individual and society change in Mulanje, Machinga, Lilongwe and Mzuzu districts.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Mzimba CBG build house for an old lady

By Heatherwick Manda

Flora Chiumia 84 can now afford a smile after a local community based group built a house for her at Pondaponda Village in Traditional Authority Mtwalo in Mzimba.
Flora is one of the vulnerable women in the area trapped between old age and poverty. Her husband died a long time ago and ever since, she had nobody to care for her. Her house collapsed many years ago and she has been seeking shelter in other people’s homes until she won the favor of Tiwonelepo Women’s Group, which constructed a house for her at the tune of K15, 000 ($57.7).
Members of the Tiwonelepo Women's Group
Tiwonelepo Women’s Group started in 2008 after widows of the area came together to advocate for issues affecting them.  At the initial stage, the group composed mainly of widows but now it has incorporated people living with HIV/AIDS ( PLWHIV) ,guardians of orphans, Village Savings and Loan (VSLA)  group members.
Group Chairperson Elizabeth Mbeya said the group was formed soon after its members went through communication for social change and advocacy training done by ADRA Malawi through Lets Fight AIDS in Malawi (LEFAM) Project two years ago. Currently, the group is collaborating with the Action for Social program helping the needy in the community.

Flora in front of her new ho

A few months ago, the group raised K40, 00 ($154) and invested it in chicken rearing business.  Part of the profit was used to build Flora’s house. Members of Tiwonelepo are dreaming big; they are planning to build their own office and run a day care centre for the orphans.
For Flora, the world has now changed around her and she said owning a house of her own was a greatest gift in her life time.