Enock Chafuna (3rd from right) together with fellow CBO members during the community mapping exercise.
The area of Traditional Authority Masumbankhunda situated in the western part of Lilongwe district was predominately depending on support from different Non-governmental organizations and government in different development endeavors. A case study of these are the two primary schools and roads in the area of Group Village Headman (GVH) Ngawa that were constructed and constantly maintained by the Chinansi Foundation and the City Council respectively.
After embracing this norm for more than a decade, the selection of Chamadzi Community Based Organization (CBO) in the Milimo local capacity-building activity implemented in the area by Creative Centre for Community Mobilization (CREC-COM) with support from USAID Malawi change was spelled by promoting strategic integration with potential stakeholders within their area to effect development changes using the available local resources.
Through a community mapping training organized by Milimo Activity, development gaps in the area were identified and Chamadzi CBO collaborated with chiefs and Gulewamkulu cultural gate-keepers in mobilizing community members for a community dialogue. It was during this meeting that community members agreed that every Saturday from 8-10 am community development works should be carried out in the area.
“Before the community mapping exercise by Milimo Activity, a pro-reception mindset was a norm here. We thought that government and NGOs were solitary providers of development in this area,” says Enock Chafuna who is the Village Development Committee (VDC) Chairperson and member of the CBO.
“The training enabled us to realize that we can develop our area using resources within our perimeter,” Chafuna added.
After this enlightenment, Chamadzi CBO together with community members managed to rehabilitate a 10 Kilometers road for easy access to different social services. Community members also demanded agricultural extension services from AEDO (Agricultural Extension Development Officer) as they intend to institute a community food bank to tackle food insufficiency in the area.
At Mpenuwawa and Masumbanthubwi VDCs, community members agreed to revamp their CBOs after learning about the developments in Ngawa VDC during the ADC (Area Development Committee) meeting. These CBOs periodically learned the need for having proper institutional systems such as leadership and strategic management, and external relationships and partnerships. In addition, during their visit to Chamadzi CBO representatives of these CBOs benefited from discussions about program management and quality control including monitoring, evaluation, and learning.
In its inception phase, Milimo Activity has mobilized the remaining 38 VDCs in TA Masumbankhumba to integrate and learn from Chamadzi CBO in local works. Milimo is an activity that runs from September 2021 to September 2024, aiming to strengthen the capacity of local institutions or organizations to deliver on their mandates, helping them in designing and implementing social behavioral change interventions using local resources whilst increasing financial independence and self-reliance.