NOVOC takes over Mkutamwana project in Salima

The Network of Organization working with Vulnerable and orphaned Children in Malawi (NOVOC) has finally taken over the coordination of a five year Mkutamwana project in Salima from Family Health International (FHI) which has been running the project for the past four years.

The main purpose of Mkutamwana project is to protect and uplift the living standards of orphans and vulnerable children found in all the 10 Traditional Authorities in the central region’s lakeshore district through various intervention initiatives and empowerment of some local Community Based Organizations (CBOs).

Salima which is located approximately some 100 kilometers east of the country’s capital city Lilongwe, has over 45,000 orphans and vulnerable children who need urgent assistance just like in any other district here in Malawi.

NOVOC exists to promote, assist and empower individuals and organisations involved with the care and support of orphans and vulnerable children

In view of this challenge some four United Kingdom based charity organizations namely; The Sir Elton John Aids foundation, Comic Relief, Child Investment Fund Foundation and the Princess Diana Memorial Fund pledged their financial support under the umbrella tag of Funders Collaboration for Children Fund (FCFC).

In 2008, these four charity organizations contributed a whooping amount of about U$10 million for the implementation of this essential community based child intervention program.

In April this year (2012), the project was handed over to NOVOC to continue with its implementation, taking over from FHI which at the beginning of the Mkutamwana project agreed with FCFC team that they would run it for four years.

So far NOVOC has already done a commendable job in ensuring that the project should achieve its intended objective of improving the living standards of Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVCs) in the district.

For example in September this year NOVOC disbursed over K66 million to some 16 CBOs from all the 10 T/As in the district that are implementing different intervention programs aiming at helping orphans and vulnerable children.

In addition to that NOVOC also donated over K1.7 million to Salima district Social welfare office who are also running some activities under the same Mkutamwana project.

So far some CBOs notably Tiyanjane Aids support group of T/A Bibi-Kuluwunda and Chifundo community based group from T/A Kambalame have bought rice and maize mills respectively which they will be using for generating income for their CBOs.

Chairperson for Chifundo CBO Christopher Magunda commended NOVOC for giving his group over K3.8 million in September this year which part of it they have used to buy a maize mill.

“Let me commend NOVOC through the Mkutamwana project for giving us such a huge amount of money and we have so far bought a maize mill which we will be using for generating some money to assist deprived children and other chronically-ill people in our surrounding villages,” said Magunda.

According to Magunda his CBO is currently paying school fees for six vulnerable at the near-by Ngodzi community day secondary where each student is paid for K10, 000 per term.

Under the same Mkutamwana project, a modern maternity-wing is under construction at Chagunda health center based in Traditional Authority Kambwiri, which upon its completion it is expected to assist over five thousand pregnant women and girls from this remote area.

Currently majority of expectant women from this area walk over 20 kilometers to reach Salima district hospital to access antenatal services and with the construction of the maternity wing the distance will reduced to only four kilometers.

Recently a senior official from the Sir Elton John Aids Foundation, one of the financiers of this Mkutamwana project, Mohammed Osman visited some local CBOs which are taking part in the implementation of the project in Salima and so far he expressed his satisfaction with the way NOVOC is implementing it, just four months after taking over from FHI.

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