World Vision has launched a new impact area in Mchinji District, Central Malawi. The launching ceremony took place on Thursday, July 28, 2022 at Kalulu School Ground in the district.
Covering 132 villages of Traditional Authority Kapondo, the development programme is set to improve education, health and access to clean water for over 9,000 children in the next 10 years.
Officially launching the impact area, which commenced operations in September 2021, with funding from World Vision Canada, Deputy Minister of Local Government, Halima Daudi said this was a “demonstration of World Vision’s commitment to the people of Malawi”.
“We expect to see more children nutritious, going to school, kept safe from child marriage, and their families empowered to produce and earn more from their farming. And this is what Malawi needs”, said Daudi.
Like many communities in Malawi’s fragile economy, life in Rusa is hard for children.
Across its current seven primary schools, served by 89 qualified teachers, only 28 per cent of the 5, 260 enrolled learners are expected to graduate to secondary schools, all things being equal.
The community has no government secondary school.
In terms of nutrition, 44 per cent of under five children are stunted, 34 per cent battle with malaria; whereas 24 per cent still struggle with diarrhoea due to low access to clean and potable water since only 54 per cent of the community has access to safe water sources.
Despite Mchinji district serving as a food basket for Malawi, nearly half of the people in Rusa don’t have food all year round, forcing a high dependence on safety nets.
“The community has experienced wanton cutting down of trees and the soil is highly degraded”, bemoaned Mereena John, World Vision’s Programmes Manager for Mchinji district, before pointing out that there’s great potential for rice production.
“So our programming will tilt towards deepening mind-set change and encouraging farmers to produce high yield and environmentally friendly crops to improve nutrition as well as their financial wellbeing”, added Mereena.
"World Vision began working in Malawi in 1981 with sponsorship programs to help families and communities lift themselves out of extreme poverty.
Through its recently launched 2021-2025 strategy, World Vision intends to impact 2 million children directly and another 4.5million in Malawi through a mix of interventions in health, education, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), food security and resilience and policy influence.
Currently, more than 100,328 children are registered for sponsorship, supported by generous people from 9 countries. These include United States of America, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, New Zealand, Australia, South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
The organisation further has grant funded projects, stretching its work across all of Malawi’s 28 districts.
In 2021 alone, World Vision invested 38 million United States Dollars to impact millions of Malawian children. A total of 241, 843 people benefited from wash interventions whereas 64, 249 families had strengthened food security.
In education, 141, 242 from 262 primary schools benefited from different literacy interventions including the spelling bee competition and out of school reading sessions. Nearly 2 million people were safeguarded from Malaria while half a million young people were reached with hybrid interventions on prevention of HIV/AIDS as well as vocational skills.
By Charles Kabena, Communications and External Engagement Manager.