It was a colorful scene in the Michiru Mountains. The whole village ran out and gathered at Namitalala primary school. Flags and...
Stephanos Outreach Adoption Program (SOAP) is a Community Based Development and Aid Program, providing care and support to the individual child through the extended family and contributes to sustainable development of the community as a whole. The project has five components: Agriculture, Education, Health, Adoption and Child Protection.
The operation area is within Senior T.A. Kuntaja, located 30km Northwest of Blantyre. The specific area is GVH Chalamanda, with a population of 1,712 people, divided over 12 villages. The population is a mixture of different tribes, all united with respect to their cultural believes.
The project targets and empowers self mobilized beneficiaries who are committed and capable to participate in their own demand-driven development initiatives: using locally available resources where requested.
The beneficiaries are all having a linkage with Namitalala Primary School. Children are not specifically selected as orphans or vulnerable children, because we believe that each individual child has an influence on the community, whether with parents or not.
The approach therefore is community based towards capacity building of the individual member of the community. The change of life of any particular child will make an imperative impact on the life on another.
Some of the activities SOAP is implementing are (selected few):
- Natural Resource Management
- Conservation Agriculture
- Animal Husbandry
- Irrigation Farming
- Crop Diversification
- Early Childhood Development Education
- Primary School Education Support
- Adult Literacy Education
- Community Home Based Care
- Mobile HTC for guardians and school going children
- Child Protection
First Quarter of 2023 Activities
The following activities have been implemented in the first quarter of 2023:
Namitalala Primary School Construction
The construction of a MK96 million School block has been completed. The construction, which started on 4th October 2022, has taken exactly 5 months to completion. The construction has been funded by Verburg Charity Foundation with an administration contribution from Stephanos Foundation. All payments have been made in time and the construction works have been certified by an independent, certified Engineer. Close monitoring and frequent quality controls of the construction works have proven to be essential to meet the expected deadline. However, delays have been observed which were basically due to the weather and road circumstances. Namitalala is 36km past Chileka airport, passing though the mountainous Michiru area, close to Chavala (T.A. Kasisi), which borders Majete. As for the month of February, only 4×4 vehicles were able to reach the school and at times the roads were impassible, even for the extension officers on motorbike.
The four-classroom school block has an office for the head teacher, boys and girl’s toilet as well as 200 double pupils’ desks, to be shared with the existing 3 classrooms.
The official handover of the Namitalala Primary School block to the Ministry of Education will take place on Tuesday 7th March 2023. (See pictures attached)
The Ministry of Education has meanwhile recruited one male teacher, bringing the total to 5. No female teacher has been recruited yet. Total students stands at 355 (166F/189M) for standard 1-6.
Construction Kaliwo and Ndaluza Learning Centre
The community of Kaliwo and Ndaluza started the construction of Learning Centre by 1st November 2022. To date, both communities have finalized plastering and will soon start with painting. The road network has been equally challenging, due to the same mentioned problems. Nevertheless, the PM has tried hard to visit the area on frequent basis.
Early Childhood Development
20 community volunteers have been selected for a 2-week in-house training at the Association of Early Childhood Development in Malawi (AECDM) in Ndirande. Graduation will take place on Friday 3rd March after which the students will return home to Namitalala.
Interviews for the position of Agriculture and Education Extension Officer were successfully conducted last week. Whilst background checks are made, it is expected that two new employees will join the SOAP team as of 8th February 2023.