Our beginning in Malawi

Situated between Tanzania in the north, Zambia in the west, Mozambique in the east and south, Malawi has no access to the sea.

With little or no mineral wealth, and its tourism competing with neighboring rivals (Tanzania, Zambia, South Africa) who are far better known, the country depends almost entirely on the agricultural sector, which is threatened alternately by floods AND by drought: food security cannot be guaranteed.

As a result, Malawi is one of the five poorest countries in the world, and has the lowest per capita income in Southern Africa: GDP per head is $ 295, compared with an average of $ 10,152 worldwide (in 2017 according to the IMF, the GDP of France was $ 2,574 billion, compared with that of Malawi which was: $ 6.26 billion: 400 times less, while the population is only 4 times smaller).

These statistics pushed us to go to this country of 17 million inhabitants to identify

  • what kind of project would be sensible
  • for which category of the population
  • with which local partner.

In August 2017, we traveled the country from its border with Tanzania to that with Mozambique and met a dozen local associations. We compared our impressions with the international authorities in Lilongwe, the administrative capital, and with the few French companies in Blantyre, the economic capital.

One thing is certain: the most disadvantaged segment of the population, ignored by all, is the elderly. We have seen many old men, often widows, who have only four earth walls without anything in them: neither a chair, nor a bed, nor a spare garment, nor any crockery.

They are barefoot and in rags, often sick, sometimes infirm, subject to cruel traditions and the suspicion of witchcraft!

Moreover, given the recent ravages of AIDS, which has decimated a generation (reaching a 30% infection rate at its height, finally falling below 10%), 62% of orphans are dependent on their grandparents.

It was in Blantyre that we found our local partner: the MANEPO consortium brings together NGOs whose projects are specifically dedicated to the elderly. Its major aim is to awaken the interest of civil society and public authorities for seniors and to bring about a change of attitude so that they are no longer abandoned or discriminated against.

December 2017, we signed a cooperation agreement with MANEPO. And together, we would do the following project, based on a model already tested in Malawi: we will give goats to 200 elderly villagers with dependent grandchildren. In a few years they will be able to sell a goat to face an unexpected expense (illness, repair of the cottage), and otherwise improve their diet. The only condition is that the first kid to be born will have to be given to an equally destitute family: with this snowball effect, we hope to help a total of 300 very poor households by mid-2019.

Film: Don d’une chèvre>

The 200 goats, each with a shelter were distributed…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Each older person with dependent young children, having received a first-born kid, will attend training sessions for goat farming.

The chain of solidarity that has been set up is already showing great promise and 300 shelters have already been built.

The € 42,000 project was funded by the Cassiopée, Ivory and EDF foundations, the French Micro Project Agency, a local contribution and private donations.

Food Security Project

Creation of “Easy Gardens” for 200 families who have no land, in close co-operation with the Malawian NGO MANEPO.

This ecological system is very simple: in a tub filled with soil and humus and enriched by earthworms, food residues and a little water are added each day via two bamboo pipes with holes in them. This helps to provide a small family with vegetables, despite using a very small space.

 

Project cost : 8 000 €

Financed by Partenaires

Both programs are carried out in close cooperation with a Malawian NGO, MANEPO, which specializes in improving the living conditions of the elderly.

 

Donation of solar lamps:

Both programs are carried out in close cooperation with a Malawian NGO, MANEPO, which specializes in improving the living conditions of the elderly.

Our partner, the local NGO MANEPO, distributed it to them: see the film.

Film: Don de lampes solaires>