Nkhata Bay: Four community groups in Nkhata Bay on Saturday received grants worth K4.5 million for livelihood improvement through capacity building in community empowerment economic activities.
The four groups are Mbaya, Chiwoda, Chakupompha and Chitheka Clusters in Traditional Authority (T/A) Kabunduli, which are engaged in community savings and entrepreneurship.
COMSIP Cooperative Union Limited, a member owned union of savings and investment cooperatives, is the one that has provided the grants.
Speaking during the granting ceremony at Chitheka Primary School Ground, COMSIP Chief Executive Officer Tenneson Gondwe said the grant are meant for capacity building in selected social and economic activities.
The funds are for trainings in financial literacy, business management and environment and social safeguards. They are aimed at building and enhancing their skills in community savings and small businesses, Gondwe said.
Community Savings and Investment Promotion (COMSIP) is supporting a number of groups in the country as its affiliate members. This is being done through a concept of promoting a vibrant sustainable culture of savings and investment among ordinary Malawians for livelihood improvement.
We hope that through these interventions we can contribute heavily to the alleviation of poverty among the majority of the Malawian population, Gondwe said.
The grants will benefit over 400 members in the four clusters. Provision of the grants was based on number of cluster membership. Mbaya received a grant of K1.7 million, Chakupompha K1.3 million, Chitheka K1 million and Chioda K975,000.
Minister of Civic Education, Culture and Community Development Grace Chiumia presided over the granting ceremony after visiting some of the clusters to appreciate their activities.
She said that the works COMSIP is promoting are in line with the vision of her ministry in ensuring that communities afford a decent life through various economic livelihoods.
We want a society that is self-reliant and visionary in improving itself. These community empowerment economic activities are the best tools to achieving that goal, Chiumia said.
The minister, who is also member of parliament for Nkhata Bay West under which Kabunduli area falls, commended COMSIP for its work. She then called on the cooperative union to reach out to many vulnerable populations with its interventions.
Some of the initiatives that COMSIP supports include adult literacy programmes (ALP). Livinesi Kambolira from Chitheka Village is one of the beneficiaries of ALP and said the programme has helped to improve the performance of her small-scale business of selling various food items.
I was losing money because of poor calculation of change when customers bought my goods. But now, I can read, write and make proper calculations, Kambolira said.
COMSIP is coordinating the implementation of a livelihood and skills development component of Malawi Social Action Fund (Masaf) 4 project through the Local Development Fund by the World Bank.
Earlier this year, the union also supported at least 17 affiliates with grants worth K81 million to enhance production and value addition of selected value chain projects across the country.
Source: Malawi News Agency MANA