Jombo CDSS CPC showcasing the chicken kraal building.
Following trainings conducted by Creative Centre for Community Mobilization (CRECCOM) to gain community support for learners, the Community Philanthropy committee from Jombo CDSS has welcomed the concept. It is building a chicken kraal as one of the sustainable ways of sourcing funds for their activities around assisting needy learners to access their education. This committee comprises various community stakeholders surrounding the CDSS, including faith leaders, chiefs, mother group members, youth leaders, members from various school committees as well as government stakeholders such as community development assistants.
The group was trained under the Strengthening Higher Education Access in Malawi Activity (SHEAMA) which aims at increasing education accessibility in public universities through both generic programs as well as open-distance learning programs. Since their orientations, the CPC has been moving around in various villages conducting sensitization meetings with people on the availability of higher learning opportunities for rural youth and the community’s role in supporting needy students financially.
As one of the ways of sustaining their philanthropic activities, the committee decided to institute income-generating activities such as writing letters to alumni of their school and all other well-to-do community members, so that they can assist them with funds for their students. In addition to this, they saw it wise to be contributing to every meeting they may be conducting. They also decided to start farming activities focusing much on rearing and raising local chickens for sale. The CPC members contributed for 2 months and raised about K65,000 as a starter pack towards their project and also agreed to contribute 1 chicken per member with others pledging to donate 2 to 3 chickens.
Currently, to show support of the initiative, the school leadership has already contributed 4000 bricks and SGVH Jombo contributed 400 bricks towards the construction of the kraal. “as SGVH Jombo, I felt this will benefit a lot of students in my village, therefore, as a chairperson of this committee, I did this as an example to others so that they can as well assist us), says SGVH Jombo.
Through this initiative, the committee is planning to be helping 10 needy students per year as they attain short courses at various public universities.
John Bande, the CDA for the area explained; “We are working tirelessly for the achievement of this project because in the absence of scholarships and grants from SHEAMA , community resource mobilization is quite sustainable, so we are preparing ourselves for this noble course because this organization has left us with more knowledge on how we can sustain our activities.” Currently, they are building a 3 by 5 meters kraal, awaiting roofing with the 8 iron sheets donated by the school.
SHEAMA has been in existence for 5 years now and was being implemented by CRECCOM with support from Arizona State University and funding from United States Aid for International Development (USAID).