Program Descriptions

Program Descriptions

1.0 EDUCATION DEPARTMENT 

1.1 BACKGROUND

The vision of the education sector in Malawi is to see by 2015 that the quality and excellence in education is achieved in all avenues of learning; Primary and Secondary education assumes  gender equality and girls access full basic education; Early childhood care and education is improved and expanded; learning needs of all including vocational skills are met; Adult learning literacy is improved by 50%; All children, particularly the vulnerable girls, orphans, disabled in varied circumstances attain quality, free and compulsory primary education.

The government in response has introduced free primary education that has seen the enrollment increasing by 200% with no new schools built and with only few teachers trained making the teacher to student ratio increase from 1 to 40 to 120 and 1 to 120 classroom to student ratio and with other students learning under the trees.

Most government schools are up to standard 8 with only few secondary schools which are a distance away. Very few students go to secondary schools and many who pass standard 8 National exams but are not selected to go to secondary schools graduate back into the community, tilling the ground in order to plough food. The children who pass from primary to secondary school walk at a distance of approximately 5-8 km to get to the government or community Day secondary school. In Some villages, no secondary school is available until 40 km away from the village.

Malawi Education system is hampered by problems of poor access, high repetition and drop out rates, poor infrastructures, inadequate learning materials and furniture, untrained teachers, overcrowded classrooms, inequality, poverty, pregnancies and early marriages.

1.2 INTERVENTION AREAS:

  • Nursery school support and sponsorship
  • Primary school sponsorship and support
  • Secondary school sponsorship
  • Vocational Skills Training
  • Why wait?
  • Early childhood development
  • Improvements in quality of education
  • Adult Literacy Learning

1.3 ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  • 10 Primary schools receive material support
  • Over 300 Orphans and vulnerable children receive school fees
  • Over 300 Orphans and vulnerable children receive teaching and learning materials
  • 20 sponsored orphans and vulnerable children receive vocational training at technical colleges
  • 160 teachers trained in why wait?
  • 26 schools receiving God’s principles of character and moral development and sexual purity education
  • 1 nursery school built
  • 240 children receive pre-school training at a nursery school
  • 1 community Day Secondary school built
  • 6 teachers’ houses built
  • 220 adults receive adult literacy training
  • 10 schools offering adult literacy training

1.4 SUCCESS STORY: Sponsored students

Most students who were lacking school fees and walking long distances to schools in SOM’s impact areas now receive sponsorship and a community Day Secondary School has been built within a walkable distance.

1.5 PROJECT PLANS

  • Building additional classes and teachers’ houses at SOM’s community Day secondary school
  • Building hostels for both girls and boys
  • Building a Technical College
  • Increasing the number of students sponsored at both primary and secondary levels
  • Building a Junior Primary School
  • Provision of teaching and learning materials
  • Introducing Why Wait extra curricula activities

2.0 HIV/AIDS DEPARTMENT

2.1 BACKGROUND

Save Orphans Ministries was formed and exists to empower orphans, Youths and caregivers to meet their spiritual, emotional, intellectual and physical needs in order for them to live a productive life in their communities. SOM helps in equipping the orphans, caregivers for home based care patients and the Youths with skills that address the whole life of a person so that in turn they have a normal share and equal opportunities that improve their living in the community.

HIV/AIDS program came into existence in SOM after a baseline survey was conducted in the areas of Songa in Mangochi and Tsangano in Ntcheu Districts. However, before the survey, an incident happened in Songa area whereby a family lost three family members consecutively who were all seriously sick and left six children with an old woman aged 65 weak and helplessly. This incident prompted SOM to conduct the survey and collect the National HIV/AIDS data from Ministry of Health and Population through National Aids Control Programme which is now called National Aids Commission. HIV/AIDS problem has reached devastating proportions; the scale of impact is large and getting worse.

2.2 INTERVENTION AREAS

2.2.1 Home Based Care

  • Provision of farm inputs to caregivers
  • Training of HBC caregivers on their roles and responsibilities
  • Provision of care and support to the infected and affected in form of food e.g. fortified rice to the infected
  • Provision of counseling to the guardians
  • Provision of HBC kits per village that assist the chronically ill patients
  • Introduction of Drug Revolving Fund at cluster level that also assists individuals who show Opportunistic Infections (OI)

2.2.2  Orphan And Vulnerable Children (OVC)

  • Provision of care and support to the malnourished children in form of food, material e.g. distribution of clothes, school fees
  • Provision of care and support in the Community Based Child Care Centres with food and psycho-social support
  • Training of psycho-social support caregivers
  • Construction of houses for grandparents who are fostering orphans
  • Provision of farm inputs to caregivers

2.2.3  Youth

  • Training of youths in leadership and club management skills
  • Training of youths in vocational skills
  • Training of youths in peer education
  • Making the youths busy with sports activities by providing them with sporting materials
  • Provision of farm inputs to them

2.2.4   Behavior Change Intervention

  • Conduct awareness HIV/AIDS campaigns
  • Training of cultural custodians on BCI issues using National BCI strategies
  • Training of community drama groups on participatory drama skills
  • Mobilization of churches and assisting them to take active roles in the implementation of HIV/AIDS activities

2.3   ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  • Over 50 HBC committees have been formed and are operating well
  • Over 35 HBC patients are on ARV therapy and also on nutrition using fortified rice and other locally available food
  • Four houses for grandparents who foster the orphans have been built
  • Over 10,000 people have been reached with message on HIV/AIDS and VCT
  • Over 500 people have undergone VCT and they know their sero – status since SOM started VCT mobile clinics
  • Over 1500 volunteers have been identified and oriented on their roles and responsibilities
  • Over 2000 orphans have been assisted with various supports ranging from food to material needs
  • 47 drug dispensers have been trained in drug administration
  • 25 Community Based Child Care Centres have been formed and are in operation

2.4  SUCCESS STORY

There was no hope for these children after both their parents died of HIV/AIDS. The young girl did not know what to with her little brother who was also found to be HIV positive. During this time of despair and doom SOM came to their rescue. The little boy is now on ARVs while the girl and her other small relatives are being taken care of by SOM. They all receive nutritious food, clothing and good shelter, all these through SOM’s timely intervention. Glory to God!

2.5 PROJECT PLANS

  • Construction of a Training and Feeding Therapy Centre whereby HIV positive orphans will be cared for, be put on nutrition therapy and be given ARVs until they recover well, then graduate to give chance to others to undergo the same process. This activity will be done in every six months.
  • Training more volunteers on Psycho – social counseling, HBC, VCT and many more interventions that may assist in reducing the pandemic. SOM needs to reach over 3000 volunteers in both areas of operations
  • Open up two static VCT centres in its areas of operations by training the volunteers on VCT
  • Training reputable drama groups on participatory drama skills
  • Training more youths on vocational skills

3.0 INCOME GENERATING ACTIVITIES (IGA)

3.1 BACKGROUND

Save Orphans Ministries (SOM) in its effort to economically empower vulnerable beneficiaries, i.e. Care givers, S.O.M Volunteers introduced the program of Income Generating Activities (IGAs) in the areas of Songa in Mangochi District and Ntcheu district in  Tsangano Makwangwala and Pheza areas. The project started in 2001 in Songa area with five groups receiving small loans from Save Orphans Ministries. However, the groups failed to continue the program due to lack of personnel to help them with technical advice and also to coordinate with other organization to get information for the progress of the project. In January 2006 the program started again in Ntcheu District when the office received a visitor (a volunteer) from USA who came to learn how the IGA project was progressing.  As of now there are nine groups in Tsangano, five in Makwangwala and six from Songa area who are doing IGA activities in these two Districts.

3.2 INTERVENTION AREAS

  • Formation and registration of IGA clubs
  • Project monitoring and evaluation
  • Club collaboration and networking
  • Formulation of club by-laws
  • Member contribution to club fund
  • Training in skills and business management
  • Facilitation of loan accessibility
  • Club graduation exercise

3.3   ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  • People have developed an interest in IGA
  • People have started to open bank accounts
  • People have started saving their money
  • Community sensitization on the IGA program has been successful

3.4   SUCCESS STORY

NKatho village banking club has benefited from this program. Previously, they didn’t know that they can have an opportunity of opening an account with the bank. The IGA program has enabled them to contribute K7500 00 in their group and now with the help from SOM they are in the process of drafting  by-laws which will help them to open account with one of the Banks in Ntcheu District.

3.5  PROJECT PLANS

  • To train these groups in business management
  • To link them with other lending institutions so that they can access loans
  • To help them find markets for their business so that they get profits
  • To collaborate and network with other organizations for information sharing and capacity building    

4.0  EVANGELISM DEPARTMENT

4.1  BACKGROUND

Evangelism Department is one of the core departments under Save Orphans Ministries. It started in as early as 1994 before the organization was officially registered. The department aims nourishing the spiritual lives of poor children in word and deed through Kids camps, Christmas camps and evangelistic activities. The department is working in Songa, Mangochi with about 10 kids clubs and Tsangano, in Ntcheu with about 46 kids clubs.

4.2   INTERVENTION AREAS

  • Teaching bible stories
  • Conducting bible camps quarterly
  • Conducting Christmas camp once a year

4.3  ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  • Many pupils from kids clubs are able to memories verses from the Bible
  • About 150 Kids teachers have been trained on how to teach kids
  • About 300kids club executive committee members have been trained in leadership skills
  • Over 160 pastors from different churches have been oriented on how to train their kids during  Sunday school activities

4.4  SUCCESS STORY

The project has managed to change Justice, who is a double orphan from Kandota area in Ntcheu district, to stop practicing witchcraft through Bible study. Justice is a boy of aged 6. He learned witchcraft from his grandparent. “I am tired of eat human flesh and flying on Lichelo at night”, he declared. The picture shows Justice who has openly denounced practicing witchcraft because of the teaching he received from the kid’s club!

4.5   PROJECT PLANS

  • To train the volunteer teachers
  • To network and collaborate with other stakeholders in the area
  • To empower some of the teachers to be area supervisors. This will ease work for the Coordinator.
  • To conduct Christmas party with children in all zones
  • To seek additional funding and support for evangelism activities

5.0  FOOD SECURITY

5.1  BACKGROUND

Save Orphans Ministries incorporated the food security department into its programs in 2002. The driving force behind this development was the needs of the people of Songa, Mangochi which in one way or the other were not being met through Government’s efforts especially in the area of food security. The department has a target group of about 30 villages in Songa impact area. The department aims at empowering the local community, with orphans and caregivers with the necessary knowledge, skill and resources. These skills in turn helps them to produce, process, store, market and utilize what they produce from the fields in order to improve their livelihoods. In addition, the department embarks on emergency interventions such as distribution of food aid and relief food programs in the area.

5.2  INTERVENTION AREAS

5.2.1  Livestock improvement

  • Introduction of exotic breeds of goats to crossbreed with the local ones
  • Introduction of dairy goat breeds
  • Distribution of local female goats to crossbreed with the exotic ones

5.2.2   Horticulture

  • Horticultural training and distribution of inputs

5.2.3   Irrigation farming

  • Training and distribution of treadle pumps and inputs
  • Yearly irrigation schemes

5.2.4   Agro-Forestry

  • Training and provision of inputs- tree seedlings, fruit tree distribution

5.2.5   Relief Food Distribution

  • Distribution of relief food during drought and crop failure seasons
  • Food aid Distribution
  • Pro-active distribution of food aid to the needy

6.2.6   Community Food Bank

  • Purchase and storage of grains within the area

6.2.7   Extension Services

  • Introduction of new farming technologies and general farming advice through farmer clubs and farming blocks

6.2.8   Community Seed Bank

  • Securing and distributing seeds to the community on time

6.2.9   Moringa production

  • Training and distributing Moringa planting materials

6.2.10  Organic Farming

Advocating and training farmers in organic and conservation farming

6.3   ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  • 198 farmers trained in Goat management and 142 goats (local and exotic) distributed in the area
  • Over 100 farmers trained in irrigation farming and practicing irrigation; 10 treadle pumps distributed
  • Over 500 trees of Moringa growing in Songa community
  • More roads constructed through food for work programs
  • Over 1000 trees planted in the area
  • Over 2000 households benefited from 2005 relief distribution
  • About 3000 (50kgs) bags of maize bought and stored in Songa under community food bank project
  • Four Farmers clubs and six farming blocks established in the area for extension services
  • Organic farmers clubs formed in the area
  • Diversified crop production as a result of food aid programs

6.4  SUCCESS STORY

Mr. A. Tamani is one of the leading livestock farmers and the chairman of Tiyamike Organic Farmers club in Songa. Before SOM implemented the livestock improvement project in Songa, he had 2 small sized local goats, which could not fetch a lot of money when offered on the market. Again, he did not realize good quantity of manure with which to grow his vegetables as an organic farmer. However, when SOM came in with the livestock improvement project, he received one dairy goat breed and one beef breed. When these exotic breeds cross-bred with the local ones, the off-springs improved in meat, manure and milk production, thereby fetching a lot of money on the market. Since the dairy goat is giving him more milk, he is now thinking of learning how to process it and then sell the products to the community. In addition, since he has now ten goats, the quantity of manure realized from the pen has also increased from 0.2 tones to 1 tone per year. His life has changed and is so grateful to SOM for being part of the change in his life and entire family.

6.5   PROJECT PLANS

SOM, through the food security department, intends to reach about 30,000 by 2010.This intention will be achieved through the following plans:

  • Start up food security projects in Tsangano, Ntcheu this year - 2006
  • Increase Songa’s irrigated land from less than 5 hectares to more than 20 hectares along Kabudira River
  • Form a horticultural association through clubs doing irrigation in Songa
  • Introduce bee farming in Songa next year
  • Increase livestock population in Songa
  • Increase area under Moringa production in Songa and start processing it
  • Utilize SOM’s farms in Mangochi
  • Increase soil fertility improvement interventions in Songa and Tsangano
  • Improve Irish potato production in Tsangano
  • Introduce Organic Farming in Tsangano
  • Empower over 80% of farmers in Songa and Tsangano with knowledge in farming technologies
  • Introduce dairy goats in Tsangano
  • Increase water and soil conservation knowledge in Songa and Tsangano
  • Ensure that over 90% of households have backyard gardens
  • Provide a produce market for farmers in both Songa and Tsangano
  • Improve community food banking
  • Construct a warehouse in Songa to act as a depot for food security interventions.
  • Introduce herbal plants garden in Tsangano