An organisation in Mzimba has empowered female headed families looking after orphans and vulnerable children to be self-reliant in the long term through agribusiness.
This comes as the ever-growing number of orphans and vulnerable children continue to strain and expose safety nets provided by extended families in Malawi.
To counter the problem, some organizations have resorted to promoting cost effective community responses that provide assistance to these extended families to be self-reliant in looking after these children.
One such organization is Action for Sustainable Development that is assisting extended female headed households in Chinua Nkhata Village in the outskirts of Mzuzu City which is part of Mzimba district.
Executive Director for the organization Thomas Ngwira said by empowering the families, livelihoods of the orphans and vulnerable children are taken care of in the long term.
“As ASUD we want to improve the nutritional intake of the children while at the same providing a money generating venture to cater for their basic needs permanently,” said Ngwira.
Ngwira said to achieve this, ASUD is assisting the families to venture into poultry and piggery businesses as well as opening maize and vegetable gardens and banana orchards.
Meanwhile, Councilor for Nkhorongo Lupaso Ward James Mhlanga has welcomed the intervention in his area.
“As a council, Mzuzu City needs organisations like ASUD to be assisting us this way especially in looking after vulnerable children,” said Mhlanga.
One of the beneficiaries is Beatrice Mhlanga who said the coming in of this community response has assisted her in taking care of her family in providing for their basic needs.
The initiative has benefitted 31 Children in Mzuzu whilst over 6 thousand orphans and vulnerable children are being supported by ASUD under the same project across Mzimba.