Strengthening Media Relations for Enhanced Humanitarian Aid in Malawi.

In a development aimed at strengthening humanitarian efforts across Malawi, a resounding call to fortify ties between humanitarian organizations and the media has been issued. This urgent plea was articulated during a Media Engagement meeting held in Blantyre on Thursday evening.

The gathering, organized by the United States Government in collaboration with USAID and its Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, alongside Kaizen, a Tetra-tech company, served as a platform to underscore the critical importance of seamless collaboration between humanitarian entities and the media.

Kaizen, has been at the forefront of capacity-building initiatives in partnership with three local Non-Governmental Organizations: Churches Action in Relief and Development (CARD), Malawi Red Cross Society, and Find Your Feet. Their concerted efforts have been dedicated to enhancing compliance, refining marketing strategies, fostering media relations and implementing robust monitoring and evaluation frameworks. These activities are geared towards amplifying communications to advance pivotal work in livelihoods, health, agriculture, education and emergency preparedness.

Meet Glyceria Chitukwi: From Ultra-Poverty to Entrepreneurial success.

In the heart of Mchinji, amidst the challenges of poverty, a beacon of hope radiates brightly: Glyceria Chitukwi, a resilient 40-year-old mother of five, stands as a testament to the transformative power of the 'Kuwala Ultra Poor Graduation Project'.

This initiative, led by CARD and with support from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Financial Access for Rural Markets (FARMSE),  through Christian Aid, is rewriting the narrative of struggle in the districts of Mchinji, Dowa and Salima in Malawi.

Glyceria's experience underscores the effectiveness of community-driven efforts in disrupting the cycle of poverty. Operating as a fish vendor in Mchinji, she encountered numerous hurdles in maintaining her business and meeting her family's needs. Yet, thanks to the invaluable support and training offered by CARD, Glyceria's situation underwent a remarkable transformation.

Through business coaching and training sessions, Glyceria learned essential skills in financial management and business development. Armed with newfound knowledge, she not only gained the ability to track her business performance but also unlocked the potential for growth and profitability. The impact was profound – Glyceria secured a loan worth K50, 000.00, propelling her business to new heights and improving her livelihood.

Transforming lives: How CARD empowered Sarah Banda to thrive.

"I am grateful to CARD," Sarah Banda beams with pride, "they taught me to practice mulching as one of the conservation agriculture technology accompanied  with planting with precision and now I have graduated from harvesting 8 bags to 20 bags on my half-acre farm. I can now support my 4 children!" Her smile radiates a sense of accomplishment that speaks volumes.

At 38 years old, Sarah narrates how CARD rescued her family from the clutches of hunger by providing essential resources and invaluable knowledge in farming. "From the provision of seeds and fertilizer (for making mbeya manure) to the invaluable farming insights," Sarah explains, "CARD truly bailed us out of hunger."

With a glimmer of hope in her eyes, Sarah shares the tangible fruits of her labor. "Last year, I made MK250, 000.00, from the maize sales that I made from my rain-fed harvest " she reveals " and with that, I bought a goat, provided clothing for my family and paid school fees for my children." Sarah's transformation is not just about economic prosperity; it's about rebuilding dreams and securing a brighter future for her loved ones.

With funding from Canadian Foodgrains Bank through Presbyterian World Service and Development (PWS&D), CARD is implementing the Enhancing Climate Resilience for Improved Income and Food Security (ECRIF) project. Operating in Traditional Authority Nkaya, Sub Traditional Authority Phimbi and Mgomwa in Balaka, with a target of 1200 project participants this project is more than just a mission; it's a lifeline for communities striving for a better tomorrow.

Empowering communities through Integrated Homestead Farming (IHF).

In the village of Kampila, under Traditional Authority Ndamera in Nsanje district, CARD implemented transformative movement: Integrated Homestead Farming (IHF) which is a beacon of hope for families like that of Felix George Fombe, a 52-year-old husband to Ntchai Lolesi and father of five – a son and four daughters.

IHF is not merely about growing crops and rearing small stock; it's a holistic approach aimed at enhancing household food security and combating micronutrient deficiencies. With its focus on producing diverse and nutritious food while generating income, IHF has become a cornerstone of the Community Led Disaster Preparedness and Management through Scaling and Institutionalizing Local Led Approaches project.

Under the guidance of CARD, funded by Norwegian Church Aid-Danish Church Aid (NCA-DCA), lead farmers and farmer followers have been trained in IHF principles. As part of this initiative, 61 farmers, including Felix George Fombe, were equipped with knowledge and resources, receiving goats for breeding and diverse vegetables to enrich their kitchen backyard gardens.

Mwanza's moment of hope: Cash distribution initiative launched amidst food crisis.

February 28th, 2024, is imprinted into Mwanza's records as a day of resounding hope and resilience, particularly for the residents of Senior Group Govati. Against the backdrop of adversity, a beacon of hope shone brightly as Mwanza launched a transformative cash distribution program at the Group Village Headman (GVH) Mpeni.

This initiative, propelled by the partnership between the Scottish Government, Christian Aid and Churches Action in Relief and Development (CARD), aims to uplift 3,100 households across Mwanza's Traditional Authorities of Govati, Kanduku and Nthache.

With each household receiving K138, 500, a lifeline is extended to sustain them through the challenging months of March and April.