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Empowering Malawian women through financial security

In Chilumba, Northern Malawi where Determined to Develop works:

Only 1 in 20 women complete secondary education

Women have an average of 6 children

1 in 5 women believe a husband is justified in beating his wife under certain circumstances

40% of women aged 15-19 have begun childbearing

Determined to Develop is supporting four women’s groups in the north of Malawi to improve financial security and empower them to have control over their own lives.

The project will support an Income Generating Activity (IGA) for each group to better the lives of the women and their families. IGA aims to increase and diversify income, they improve a families’ economic situation through an increase in purchasing power. This improves food security and can have benefits beyond financial goals, such as increasing social well-being of the community, promoting solidarity among the community, and also promoting equality between men and women (ACF, 2009). The groups are working on four separate IGA: poultry farming; traditional breads and baking; fresh produce; and local crafts and sewing.

Each woman will receive training on business skills throughout the project to give them the tools they need to make the IGA effective and sustainable. The women will also receive specialized training on their particular IGA to refine their existing skills.

A key aspect of the project is to provide a small shop, which will serve as a hub for the groups and serve as an outlet for the goods produced through the IGA by the women’s groups. Over time, we also hope it will become an outlet for other women in the area to sell goods ad handicrafts and for the project’s initial beneficiaries to share knowledge with others in the community.

Each of the women’s groups is also involved in community development initiatives, which include nutrition and hygiene awareness, female sanitation including a reusable pad project, support for a local nursery school, and support for feeding programs.

The project is being run over a period of 18 months, and is being implemented in partnership with the UK DFiD’s International Citizenship Service (ICS). D2D is also working with a number of other partners including local chiefs, local business owners, Peace Corps Malawi, and experts within the community.

D2D is seeking funding for materials and labor to build a shop where the women can sell their goods and have a meeting space for their groups. If you would like to donate to this project you can do so below.

Tawonga chomene (We thank you)