Chimutu cluster is among six clusters in the area of Traditional Authority Mbelwa where the Pathways for Successful Transition (PAST) project is implementing its activities to graduate ultra-poor households to attain resilient livelihoods. One out of 267 beneficiaries from this cluster is Ndawaze Mvuma from Mawaleka village. Mvuma is married to Margret Zulu who together have four children.

Even though Mvuma has been a Social Cash Transfer Program (SCTP) beneficiary since 2016, he continued living a miserable life.

“I used to struggle to provide my family with food, shelter, and school materials; my K5000.00 from SCTP was not enough to cover my needs.  Piece work was the only way to finance the education of my children and also finding food,” he explained.

Save the Children and Creative Centre for Community Mobilization (CRECCOM) trained Community Agents (CA) and Kavitowo Community Theatre Group (CTG) respectively. CA Mabvuto Banda has been visiting Mvuma’s home with a mindset change and financial literacy core messages. The CA mentored PAST project beneficiaries through home visits focusing on budgeting, VSL, and business management.

After receiving seed capital of K147, 600.00 from the PAST project, Mvuma did not hesitate but went ahead to learn carpentry.

“I paid the artisan a sum of K40, 000 and the remaining money was used to purchase a plane attended to be used for practicing after lessons. I am now a carpenter who can make beds, flames, chairs, and doors. After selling this furniture, I have managed to raise 250, 000 Kwacha which I have used to buy iron sheets to roof my house. I have also been managing to pay school fees for my son who is in form two at Chimutu Community Day Secondary School. Carpentry is a life skill that will remain with me for the rest of my life, my future is bright,” Mvuma narrated.

PAST project is aimed at graduating ultra-poor households who are already benefiting from the Social Cash Transfer program spearheaded by the government of Malawi. The project is being implemented in Mzimba district by Save the Children in consortium with Creative Centre for Community Mobilization (CRECCOM) with financial support from Financial Access for Rural Markets, Smallholders and Enterprises (FARMSE).

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