To further advance child survival in the country, the Association for Early Childhood Development has embarked on a programme aimed at economically empowering mothers so that they are able to provide for their children.
Under the programme, mothers are encouraged to form Safe Help Groups (SHG) where they do village banking and lend each other money for small scale businesses.
Project Manager for the Association Cecilia Kapalamula said since the inception of the project in 2010, they have reached out to over 300 women in the area of Traditional Authorities Chigaru, Lundu, Makata and Kapeni in Blantyre.
“We target poorest women in communities and we train, guide and monitor the groups so that they excel,” said Kapalamula during an SHG open day at Chiwande Community Based Childcare Centre at Matindi in Blantyre on Tuesday.
She said through the groups, women are getting loans of up to K100 000 ($181.81)
“This has a bearing on child survival as the families have now improved, they are able to afford balanced meals, good clothes and other necessities for child survival,” said Kapalamula.
Activities on the day included testimonies of change of financial status, sharing business ideas and showcasing businesses that started with capital earned from
Group Village Headwoman Jameson said cases of malnutrition and stunted growth are now rare in her area due to various initiatives by the Association.
Councilor for Matindi Ward, Pius Holeya, advised men to allow their wives to join the groups for the benefit of their families.
“I am not happy with news that some men are stopping their wives from joining these groups. In fact they should be thankful to have wives who are willing to give them a helping hand,” said Holeya.