Mudzi Connect visions a Malawi with self-sustaining communities

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Bertha Mukhuna

A local Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Mudzi Connect, says it is visioning a Malawi with vibrant and self-sustaining communities that harness their inherent strengths and assets to shape their destinies with resilience and innovation through a localized program in Dowa district.

With a mission to unlock the potential of local communities, Mudzi Connect invests in the ideas of local communities, strengthening their skills, and building lasting partnerships that facilitate sustainable development.

The organization hence initiated a groundbreaking clustered grant-making Localized Project in Traditional Authority Msakambewa in Dowa district, implementing a total of ten localized projects across diverse development sectors. To empower local structures and activate power inside communities, Mudzi Connect invested a total of $83,341.242 as grants which were disbursed to Village Development Committees that later implemented the projects.

Among others, -the projects implemented include two – classroom blocks at Nankhanga Junior Primary School and Kasatsi Primary School, and a head teacher’s house at Nakondwa Primary School which has increased – the number of resident teachers from 4 to 5.

According to Mudzi Connect Programme Officer, Bertha Mukhuna, -the project has triggered an increase in community participation in development adding that the locals in T/A Msakambewa contributed $8,656.850 representing over 10 % of the total budget and other in-kind resources to the mentioned project. 

She says ’the increased community participation and contribution of resources are clear indicators of the project’s positive impact and the community’s commitment to development. Such engagement not only ensures the sustainability of the current project but also builds a strong foundation for future initiatives.’ 

She also adds that there has been massive collaboration; as there have been various meetings with the Area Development Committee (ADC) with the community members on project proposals, review meetings, approved grants, and site visits resulting in sectoral distribution of funded projects in Education, Health, WASH, and Economic infrastructure (Transport).

Mukhuna further says Mudzi Connect is convinced that the right way to strengthen community skills and ensure the sustainability of local projects is to put local people at the front to lead the implementation of projects that transform their lives.

Mudzi Connect’s localized project was implemented with regular consultation with the Dowa District Council’s Director of Planning and Development and Civil Society Organization (CSO) Chair- which led to the selection of Traditional Authority Msakambewa as their impact area.

She said the project has constructed an Under-Five Clinic at Chinkanda village benefiting over 200 children in over 8 villages surrounding Group Village Head Chinkanda saying this project was supported by National Bank of Malawi (NBM) providing immunization services, Malaria checks and treatment, growth monitoring, and both prenatal and postnatal services to pregnant women in the community.

Mudzi Connect is currently conducting a baseline study that will aid in evaluating the impact after 2 years of stay in the area of Traditional Authority Msakambewa in Dowa district. The study is being led by Professor Singini from Mzuzu University.

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