Church and Society Programme (CSP), a Christian organisation committed to acting in love and generosity and advocating for the rights of families and children.
Agricultural communities in northern Malawi.
How Child Sponsorship works here
The project works with a number of groups for children and parents and community leaders. These groups are being trained and supported so they can address the issues of child poverty that affect the community and call on local government to fulfil their responsibilities.
All the children in the community are invited to join child clubs. These groups are an important part of the program, as they allow children to participate, contributing their ideas, implementing activities and reporting back on the impact of the program.
The children are involved in setting the topics for discussion and activities they would like to be involved with; through the groups the children have the opportunity to use their skills and knowledge to contribute to their community. Some of the topics covered so far have included training in hygiene and nutrition and skills training like growing vegetables. The children are also encouraged to go to school, even when it means a long walk!
One child club approached their village committee chiefs to ask for some access to a plot of land. They wanted to use the land as a playground, as well as growing some of their own produce. The chiefs were impressed by the proposal – not only did they grant them the land, but also some maize and soya to get them started!
Nearly all villages in Malawi have a Village Development Committee, made up of community leaders and other adults (including parents of children in the child clubs), but often these groups do not function well and struggle to achieve results. CSP is working with these groups, providing training and mentoring to equip them to address the issues of child poverty in their village.
One Village Development Committee in the project area has started building a house following government specifications. Once this house is completed the government will provide an additional teacher to the local school.
Child protection committees are also being formed with both children and adults getting involved. These groups are being trained in child protection issues and equipped to manage child protection situations when they arise either by getting involved directly or passing issues along to police and other authorities. Already one group has been able to prevent a case of child trafficking!