PAST PROJECT TRANSITIONING A WOMAN HEADED FAMILY

Gender-based violence is one of the social ills that most women suffer in a male-dominated district of Mzimba. This was a case in point in the life of Lita Nzima from Moses Nzima village, Ndisani cluster in the area of traditional authority Chindi. In 2010, Lita opted for a divorce after her husband was beating her on daily basis, drinking beer irresponsibly, and married another wife. Lita was left as a single mother responsible to take care of her five children. Life was not easy as Lita was failing sometimes to source food for her children, writing materials and school uniforms for her children who were in primary school at the time. In 2016, the coming in of the government of Malawi’s social cushioning program of Mtukulapakhomo identified Lita as one of its beneficiaries; 13000 Kwacha she was pocketing was not enough as Lita had the extra responsibility of paying school fees for his daughter who was selected at Euthini Secondary School.

Lita intensified piece works in groundnuts fields to source school fees for her daughter. At the time when the firstborn was finishing her form 4, Lita’s second-born twin daughters were selected at the same school to start their form 1. This raised fear in the life of Lita as she is the solitary provider of her family. However, her turn of transitioning from extreme poverty was also near as she was selected to benefit from the ultra-poor graduation project of Pathways for Successful Transition (PAST).

“Community Agent and Ndisani Radio Listening Club (RLC) members have been mentoring and coaching me on the importance of joining Village Savings and Loans (VSLs), budgeting, business management skills, and mindset change,” Lita said.

The financial literacy and Social Behaviour Change and Communication messages transformed Lita’s mindset as she realized that she had the potential to venture into business.

“Lita was enlightened that she should stop looking down upon herself; emphasis was placed on her seeing possibilities to invest money rather than simply spending,” Ndisani RLC mentor said.

After receiving seed capital of 55000 Kwacha from PAST project, Lita ordered pots and rappels which she was exchanging with groundnuts and maize. This business helped Lita to purchase 11 iron sheets and pay school fees for her three daughters.

Lita wants to roof her house with iron sheets before rain season; she is looking forward to floor her house with cement. Currently, her family is hunger-free as she has harvested 28 bags of maize. The interventions that have happened at Lita’s household have been championed by Save the Children and Creative Center for Community Mobilization (CRECCOM) that are implementing PAST projects in the communities with funding from the government of Malawi through Financial Access for Rural Markets, Smallholders and Enterprises (FARMSE).

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