Malawi: The President of Malawi looked into ICEIDAs activities



Dr. Bingu wa Mutharika, President of Malawi, and Joyce Banda, Vice President, recently looked into ICEIDAs projects in the southern part of the country in relation to festivities on the International Day of Rural Women, Thursday 15.October. The theme of the day was: Mothers are crucial in everything. Let's Respect Them!

Six promotional stalls on projects related to mothers were located in the village Makawa, and since ICEIDA Supported Adult Literacy Project is implemented in close cooperation with the government and local authorities and the stall was put in the forefront. “The president took a look at the stall and was introduced to the project and other ICEIDAs activities,” says Jo Tore Berg ICEIDAs Project Manager for Social Projects in Malawi. He adds that only one representative was allowed to talk to the President and that task fell upon Faniza Kaulembe. She is a government employee in community development in the district. Besides the President, who was the guest of honour, the stall was also visited by the Minister of Gender Equality and the Vice President.

“This was a great ceremony with songs, dances and speeches, all a great success and lots of people there,” says Jo. “We had easy-to-read books in our stall and various products from participants in the projects which aim at improving people’s livelihoods, we also had a map of all ICEIDAs projects in Malawi,” he says. The livelihood groups are eleven in total and operate within the reading circles in the Adult Literacy Project. The participants are people who are in great need of improving their livelihoods and receive support within the project to do so. They get domestic animals like hens and goats and grow vegetables during the dry season to sell at the market.

Jo says that the national television of Malawi broadcasted live from the festivities and all three representatives of the Icelandic projects were interviewed. “I told them about ICEIDAs activities in Malawi, that we had been in the country for 20 years, which projects we were supporting, why we were supporting Adult Literacy and why we were emphasising women’s participation," says Jo.

The Adult Literacy Project is going well according to Jo; the participants are around two thousand in 94 reading circles. “We have reading circles in almost every village in the area and it is clear that we will be busy both this year and the next. The project will finish at the end of 2010 and both representatives of the ministry and the local authorities keep asking if we can continue the support.”