A Castel Malawi – United Purpose Initiative
Tisinthe in a Nutshell
Between 2016 and 2017 our company funded a project implemented in Dedza with the aim of tackling food security. Components of the project also addressed in Health, Education & Environment. Our main aim was to bring the following to members of Chitowo Village Cluster:
•Year-round food supply
•More kids in school
This project was successfully implemented and managed by our partner United Purpose. These are some of the testimonies from Chitowo.
Sophie Cosmas’ Story
“I joined the scheme because I was constantly facing food insecurity. I only had guaranteed access to food 4-5 months of the year. At other points, I had to buy food, and when I could not afford it, we went without food.
The irrigation system means that I can do several harvests throughout the year instead of just a few months of the year. Since joining the scheme I have been trained on how to grow different varieties of crops, and I am using this knowledge for my crops in my garden so that we always have food which we can eat or sell them at the market. This means that in the future my children will have the skills and knowledge to harvest crops year-round and hopefully won’t face food insecurity. I have also shared the skills that I have learnt about irrigation and harvesting with other people in the village who are not part of the Irrigation Committee. The scheme has also taught us how to work better as a community as we all learn together.
So far in one harvest, I have produced 15,90kg bags of maize, which is five times more than in 2016, as well as an increase in soya and beans. This increased yield is no doubt due to the knowledge I have gained through the scheme and my family and I look forward to more successful harvests.”
Sophiet Cosmas, member of the Kangadala irrigation scheme & 28-year-old mother of four
Promoting Sanitation at Chitowo
“I constructed the latrine for my husband and I after learning about the importance of having a latrine for sanitation purposes and to avoid open defecation. We had a community meeting where government health workers showed us wastes in the bush, which made me feel ashamed about relieving myself outside as I realised that it could mean that we were eating our own faeces [as flies would travel from there to our food. This is why I decided to build a latrine.
It took four days for me and my husband to construct the latrine and we were able to do it for free by using the resources we have around us. I learnt how to build it through other people in the village who had already constructed their own latrines. Having your own latrine is a sign of self-respect. Being caught using someone else’s or defecating in public is very embarrassing.”
Borehole for Chitowo Primary School
The project has completed the construction of the school water point, enabling nearly 2,500 learners to access safe water in their immediate school vicinity.
80 members of the school sanitation club, 2 sanitation masters and 2 sanitation mistresses at Chitowo Primary School were trained on basic hygiene and sanitation practices by a Health Surveillance Assistant. This training included hygiene promotion and handwashing practices, and the pathways between poor sanitation and hygiene practices and diarrheal diseases.
Since the training, there has been a marked improvement in the school’s sanitation, notably improvement in the cleanliness of the latrines. Furthermore, learners have been teaching their families about handwashing and sanitation, thereby improving hygiene and sanitation practices throughout the community.
Sanitation At Chitowo Primary School
“I chose to run the sanitation club because I feel that good sanitation and hygiene is necessary for the health of the student and for better teaching and learning. Each day we make sure that the latrines and the classrooms are clean because I don’t want the school to become a place where students may contract diseases.
I teach the students basic sanitation skills and the importance of maintaining good hygiene. On the 15th July, we had an event to teach students how to take care of our new toilets, boreholes and classrooms.
Before the club the school surrounding was very unclean and the students were reluctant to clean it themselves. The students would just go to the toilet anywhere – even just outside the classroom – and thought that we were just using them to do chores. However, since the establishment of the Sanitation Club the students are proud of their school and new latrines and are more willing to clean. The most important impact that I have seen is less case.”
Charity Saide is the Sanitation Mistress at Chitowo Primary School
30,000 Trees Planted under Transform Project
“In the 1980s the entire village was covered with trees, they were so tall that you could see them from Lilongwe. However, now there are very few trees and this is severely affecting our local environment and the school. The careless cutting down of trees means that the rooves of the school are not protected from the wind, so they are becoming damaged.
I decided to lead the Chitowo Village Environment Club because of the extent of environmental degradation that I have seen in the village. We aim to replant as many trees as possible to restore our environment and to create wind shelter for the school. So far, we have planted numerous trees a few hundred metres from the school.
The club is not only good for the environment but for my students too. Each student in the Environment Club is responsible for a tree. They must wake up early in the morning to water the tree and construct a fence around their tree to prevent the goats from eating the shrubs. This has taught them the spirit of hard work and responsibility as well as the importance of maintaining the environment.”
Amos Jarvis is the Environment Master for the Chitowo Primary school Environment Club.
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