By January W. Mvula, Founder & Executive Director, SURCOD. September 2014.
Funding for Sewing Skills Project!
U.S. African Development Foundation gave SURCOD a shot in the arm to enable Chididi women's empowerment for sustainable rural development through a tailoring project to be rolled out.The
Jeannie Jackson, US Ambassador to Malawi, presided over the grant signing ceremony which occurred in Lilongwe, the capital city.
The grant amounted to $6,832.00 and has, among other things, enabled SURCOD to buy and transport sewing machines and accessories, in order to train 1,000 women in Chididi for a period of three years.
Each training phase is expected to last between 90 and 120 days.
The initiative will go a long way to create business opportunities for rural Malawian women.
We are very thankful for the opportunity to begin the project.
Women Rights Project
We also wish to thank Volkart Vision Foundation (VVF) for enabling us to conduct a simple survey as an initial information baseline for the women rights project.
The three-day exercise in Chididi generated information that will allow SURCOD to assess progress and effectiveness during implementation and after the completion of the project.
The Ministry of Gender, through the office of Community Development of Nsanje Council, was sought to render the services.
Four female enumerators were hired to administer the questionnaire to women in the impact area.
Green Manure Project
On 17-18 June, SURCOD conducted a baseline survey to gather information for the monitoring and evaluation plan of the green manure project. The survey was carried out in 27 villages with 250 randomly selected Chididi residents. This survey provided information on the causes of low yields harvested by farmers each growing season.
We discovered that farmers lack information on how to achieve higher yields of farm produce. Through the green manure project and other projects, SURCOD is working to ensure that farmers in Chididi do not struggle to achieve food security.
Bean Harvest: Winter Planting and Improving Soil Fertility
Since dry spells and other weather changes have resulted in poor growth of beans, local farmers recently suggested planting beans in the winter season instead.
Procuring and distributing seeds in the winter has so far proved to benefit from the winter rains. If the weather does not change for the worse, farmers will have a good winter harvest.
Along with winter cropping assistance, SURCOD is also helping farmers to become food secure by improving soil fertility using Tithonia diversifolia ['Mexican Sunflower'] and shrub legumes as green manure.
Combating Climate Change
Climate change has been significantly reducing the yields for farmers in the region.
In an effort to overcome these effects, SURCOD organised a training for farmers to benefit from technologies such as conservation agriculture (CA) and compost manure. The training targeted 15 lead farmers who will then train additional farmers from the area in the new techniques.
SURCOD expects a high number of farmers will use manure to improve soil fertility during the growing season.
Psychosocial Support Training
SURCOD’s partner, Kuchene Women Forum, trained Chididi Women Forum (WF) and Chididi Community Victim Support Unit (CVSU) in psychosocial support during a five-day training in Bangula. The objective of the training was to equip participants with the basic skills necessary to assist people that are experiencing difficult events in their lives.
Kuchene is a group of women who advocate for the promotion of women rights in Nsanje district.
Chididi Women Forum is the brainchild of SURCOD, allowing women to articulate issues that affect them and children.
SURCOD Volunteer Family Expands
European Voluntary Service (EVS) programme and the Youth Volunteering for Environment: Active and Healthy lifestyles (YEAH) programme.SURCOD welcomes four new international volunteers through the
Each volunteer contributes to intercultural exchange and tolerance in their interactions with the youth of Chididi. They will work in rural Chididi implementing various health, education, and environment projects.