DAPP comes to Mwandi women’s aid

Story as published in The Mast Newspapers-Zambia on April 14, 2018

DEVELOPMENT Aid from People to People and Response Network is helping vulnerable women in Livingstone’s Mwandi township fight poverty by saving and lending each other money for small scale businesses in a system known as Self-Help Groups.

The Self-Help Groups or SHGs in short are a community based financial intermediary committee usually composed of 10–20 local women or men; however, a mixed group is generally not preferred.

According to Joseph Daka, who is Response Network (RN) DAPP facilitator, the concept of SHGs is to end poverty by empowering women and developing leadership abilities among poor and needy people.

In Livingstone’s Mwandi township, DAPP and RN have established SHGs under the Zambia Family South-Central programme known as ZAMFAM.

Hope Action SHG coordinator Clare Mbuzi says the group has 23 registered members but  only 20 were very active.

“We have two male members in our group and from January to date we have saved a total of K8,871,50 out of which K1,511 has been given out to members on a credit scheme,” Mbuzi says.

She adds that members occasionally make follow-ups as to encourage them to be active.

Mbuzi adds that through DAPP and RN, they have learnt how to write financial reports, and have enacted their own constitution.

“Apart from writing financial statements, we have also been educated on how to solve problems. One of the problems we have managed to sort out is the issue of meeting attendance as some members used only to come for meetings when they have personnel problems, but we have educated them that they can even come for a meeting when they don’t have money to pay for savings and that they can pay later,” Mbuzi says.

“Out of the SHG clubs we have been empowered to manage our homes financially and also be able to take our children to school. We even encourage each other over our businesses and with every borrowing, one has to pay back the money with 10 per cent interest.”

And Luckness Katanga, coordinator of the Tugwashane (which in Tonga literally means ‘let’s help each other’), says she personally never used to do anything apart from being at home and waiting for her husband to provide for her family’s requisites.

Katanga says she now makes fritters which she sells to pupils and the general community.

She adds that her SHG has managed to save K2,480 after being trained in SHG concepts by DAPP and RN.

Katanga says K1,900 has been loaned out to her members who have to re-pay the loans with 10 per cent interest.

“We are 16 in our group and all have individual businesses and we help grow each other’s business by encouraging each other or through the provision of customers,” she says.

“We also have been taught on how to write in a coordinated manner and have also enacted our own constitution which must be followed by all members.”

And federation SHG coordinator Gertrude Simombela says her group has 14 active members and has since January raised K9,500.

She says the group had learnt a lot from DAPP and RN in terms of poverty eradication through savings and borrowing.

Simombela adds that like all the other clubs members have to pay K2 Social Fee which is used to cover expenses for general emergencies of a group member such as illnesses or funerals.

She says like all clubs, K10 monthly contribution is paid towards the growth of the SHG income which is given out as loans to members once they have repaid the outstanding credit.

“We all have a system of paying K10 as monthly contributions to the SHG pool fund and K2 every week as social fee. The clubs have all decided that we should be meeting once in a week so the Social Fee is paid at every meeting session. We have a leadership committee which includes a treasurer for accountability,” Simombela says.

She adds that each group is able to raise different amounts of money depending on membership and credit repayment rates.

Simombela says a lot of women in Mwandi are widowed or single mothers and that the introduction of SHGs has greatly mitigated poverty and helped reduce the spread of sexually transmitted infections.

“A lot of women are widows and so the SHG system is a best means of one getting an income…we however, would be very happy if these groups can be assisted with an extra income either from DAPP, RN or any individual or organisation so as to help increase the capital base for the Save and Borrow System, so that we can also increase the amounts of loans we get which will in turn help us grow our small-businesses,”
Simombela says.

At the meeting, Lusumpuko’s SHG coordinator was not present to give the
vital statistics of the club.

And DAPP ZAM-FARM Livingstone project leader Abyshy Hachiwa says the women, armed only with knowledge from DAPP and RN, managed to be self-sustaining despite the low savings that they faced.

He also promises that DAPP will assist the SHGs by putting up a children’s playpark in Mwandi, resources permitting.

Mwandi SHG members

Mwandi SHG members

 

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Story as published in The Mast Newspapers-Zambia on May 16, 2018

LIVINGSTONE is improving with each national Judo league tournament, says Judo for  Fred coach Mama Hamoonga.

In an interview, Hamoonga said three players had won winning in their categories at the just ended contests held in Lusaka on Saturday. He said the next national league tournament will be at the Youth Community Training Centre (YCTC) in Livingstone on May 26.

“The lads are improving on a daily basis and with each national league tournament held the standards are getting higher and higher. I am happy that Felet Musonda who won the fight in the 44 kilogramme category has made it to the national team,” Hamoonga said.

She added that in the 30 kilogramme category Livingstone’s Judo for Fred judokas ended up fighting each other with Tabo Sitali losing to his team mate Fred Musonda.

“In the -25 kilogramme category Morrison Mwachiyaba was first while William Mulenga lost in the semi-finals of the 55 kilogramme category,” Hamoonga said.

She further noted that William Mulenga lost in the 55 kilogramme category while Costic Mainza and Mufalari Swembo all lost in their first fights.

Judo for Fred is financed by Norwegians through a non-governmental organisation Response Network.

Hamoonga further appealed to all Livingstone residents to turn up in numbers on May 26 to watch the national judo league at YCTC in Libuyu Township.

Response Network's Joseph Daka

Response Network's Joseph Daka


L/stone improving in Judo – Hamoonga

Story as published in The Mast Newspapers-Zambia on May

LIVINGSTONE is improving with each national Judo league tournament, says Judo for  Fred coach Mama Hamoonga.

In an interview, Hamoonga said three players had won winning in their categories at the just ended contests held in Lusaka on Saturday. He said the next national league tournament will be at the Youth Community Training Centre (YCTC) in Livingstone on May 26.

“The lads are improving on a daily basis and with each national league tournament held the standards are getting higher and higher. I am happy that Felet Musonda who won the fight in the 44 kilogramme category has made it to the national team,” Hamoonga said.

She added that in the 30 kilogramme category Livingstone’s Judo for Fred judokas ended up fighting each other with Tabo Sitali losing to his team mate Fred Musonda.

“In the -25 kilogramme category Morrison Mwachiyaba was first while William Mulenga lost in the semi-finals of the 55 kilogramme category,” Hamoonga said.

She further noted that William Mulenga lost in the 55 kilogramme category while Costic Mainza and Mufalari Swembo all lost in their first fights.

Judo for Fred is financed by Norwegians through a non-governmental organisation Response Network.

Hamoonga further appealed to all Livingstone residents to turn up in numbers on May 26 to watch the national judo league at YCTC in Libuyu Township.

 

CBR calls for education of children with disabilities

Story as published in The Mast Newspapers-Zambia on Sunday, May 20,2018

COMMUNITY Based Rehabilitation (CBR) senior advisor Alick Nyirenda has said intellectual and developmental disability must be dealt with.

And Nyirenda says there is need to take education to children especially those living with disability.

Meanwhile, International coordinator for Occupational Therapy at the Actic University of Norway Marriane Olsen says another
set of several student nurses, occupational therapists and physiotherapists will be arriving in Livingstone in September and in
January for 13-week attachments to the Livingstone Central Hospital, CBR and Response Network.

Speaking during a meeting with representatives of the Arctic University of Norway in Livingstone, Nyirenda said there is need to focus on inclusive development when dealing with issues of disability.

“We have noted that there is failure to address the needs of intellectual or development disability (mental health) and there is
need to find interventions…in 2008, we noted that there was a fragmentation in the Community Based Organisations (CBO’s) dealing with disability as they were doing the same work and umbrella bodies were unable to get Norwegian funding, so we started with an
organisation called Opportunity Zambia which offered small grants of US$5,000,” Nyirenda said.

He added that after that, 800 volunteers were trained in basic skills to work with people living with disabilities.

Nyirenda said the CBR programme was being modelled into what was known as Community Based Inclusive Development (CIBD) so as to move away from mere rehabilitation using health which was being used under the CBR initiative.

“So there is an expansion to include inclusive development, we want to develop a CBR model for Zambia and we want to include inclusive educational model and package it,” Nyirenda said.
“We have six model schools and we need to provide inclusive sports and we have done modifications to toilets, water and sanitation so as to improve hygiene in each school with people living with disability.”

He further called for attention to social protection and health issues for people living with disabilities.

“We also want to get the school to the child, this home based education is a best way of dealing with community based interventions for PLWD,” Nyirenda said.
Response Network deputy director Mutukwa Matengenya says poverty reduction can be achieved if communities take up self-help initiatives instead of depending on aid. Mutukwa said Response Network which works in Kazungula, Livingstone, Zimba and Kalomo helps village communities be self-sustaining in skills; gender based violence, literacy clubs and also deals with PLWD.

L-r: Åse Bårdsen, Marianne Olsen and Anne Gerd Karlsen from the Actic University of Norway-Picture by Edwin Mbulo

Olsen who was accompanied by Åse Bårdsen a physiotherapist and Anne Gerd Karlsen a public health nurse at the Actic University said the students will be in Zambia to see how best they contribute to well being of rural communities in Zimba, Kalomo or Kazungula.

 

Norwegians to cycle for L/stone sports complex

As reported by the Mast Newspapers

Norwegians to cycle for L/stone sports complex
By Edwin Mbulo in Linvingstone on March 1, 2018

SEVEN Norwegians based in Livingstone will in April cycle over 600 kilometers from Lusaka to raise money for a multi-purpose sports complex to be built at the SOS Village in the tourist capital.
In an interview, chief organiser Raymond Bommen said 40,000 Norwegian Kroner (approximately K50,000) had so far been raised for the effort.
“We will be cycling from Lusaka to Livingstone on April 9, covering distances of 100 kilometres on a daily basis, for five days and our target is to raise K120,000, which is about 100,000 Norwegian Kroner. We intend to build a multi-purpose sports facility at SOS here in Livingstone which will help in sports development,” he said.
The other cyclists are Kristina Anthall, Gina Bakke Bolstad, Fulie Berg, Sofie Rasmussen, Preciosa Lurås and Haakon Schiøtz.
Bommen said the K50,000 raised so far was from friends and organisations in Norway, adding that the team was appealing for support from Zambian business houses and individuals.
He said Livingstone needed a multi-purpose sports facility.
“We noted that we needed a sports facility that can be accessible to every child, non-governmental organisations, schools and others at no fee. We also needed it to be secure in terms of security for 24 hours, so we decided to have it at the SOS Village here in Livingstone and the SOS will budget for the maintenance of the facility,” said Bommen

Transport initiative in Africa

TRANSPORT INITIATIVE: Some parts of Southern Province parts of Zambia have in the past few days been experiencing heavy rainfall activities which have made some roads especially in rural areas of Kazungula, Zimba and Kalomo districts were Response Network operates impassable.
This on Tuesday (February 27) led to Norwegian students to abandon the luxury of the Toyota Rand Cruise for an Ox-drawn carriage to Nampongo village.
Picture-courtesy Biemba Mubanga, Response Network transport officer

Transport

Initiative; under the challenge of impassable roads to vehicles

Judo for Fred attracts youths

TWENTY-ONE youths have joined the Livingstone Judo Club administered by Response Network bringing the total number to 379. During a by-weekly Response Network staff briefing, Hilary Mutemwa who is the organisation’s deputy Judo coordinator, said the youths have since commenced training every Mondays, Tuesday and Thursdays at Maramba Community Hall in Livingstone, Zambia’s tourist capital.

Judo

Judo for Fred attracts youths

“In our continued effort to improve Judo, we have intensified our recruitment drive among the youths; we have managed to capture 17 boys and four girls who have joined our team. The total number of judokas is now at 379,” Mutemwa said. He added that the club which operates under the name Judo for Fred (which means ‘Judo for peace’ in Nordic) will soon embark on a belt-upgrading activity. Mutemwa said Judo for Fred has also intensified training for the National League Tournament scheduled to be held at the Olympic Youth Development Centre (OYDC) in Lusaka on March 10. And National Sports Council Southern (NSC) Provincial Sports Advisory Committee secretary general Amos Macha has praised Response Network for helping develop sports in rural parts of Kazungula, Zimba and Kalomo. “Response Network is doing very fine in rural sports development, but we need many more to come on board. The major challenges we face is sports development. We have a lot of talent but due to lack sponsorships a lot of sports disciplines such as volleyball and basketball have suffered. These sports disciplines are virtually non existence,” he said. Macha added that basketball, badminton and netball teams from the Copperbelt or Lusaka fail to travel to Livingstone for off-season trainings because there are not local teams to play with.

Florence makes a difference in her village

As it appears in The Mast Newspapers of February 24, 2018-02-28
By Edwin Mbulo
A 46-YEAR-OLD Kazungula woman Florence Muntanga has initiated a skills training programme in tailoring for her village colleagues.
In an interview, Muntanga of Nalombe village said she first got interested in helping develop her village in 2014 when a group of villagers informed her about an organisation that was specialising in teaching rural communities in self-help projects.
The mother of one said she then initiated the formation of self-help clubs which led to the construction of a community school in her area with the help of a non-governmental organisation, Response Network working in Kazungula, Kalomo and Zimba.
“We were taught on various issues by Response Network who also encouraged us to be self-reliant and motivated instead of depending on donor aid. After these trainings we formed clubs that specialised in savings and borrowing. Our Self-Help Groups (SHG’s) raised over K1800 out of personnel contributions,” Muntanga said.
“Response Network then built a 1X2 classroom block, but we also started our own classroom block which is at window level. Last year I was privileged to be selected for training in tailoring which I started in April and completed in December last year. Thereafter I started to make uniforms for a primary school and later on managed to buy another sewing machine. I then realised that I can make a difference in my community and I then invited women and girls for training in tailoring and a lot of greatly improved.”
She adds that after a while she decided to diversify from tailoring in to livestock.
“I called for a meeting in January this year and asked my friends what they wanted us to do so as to improve our lives. I suggested poultry which was agreed on. I am still making school uniforms with many of my colleagues while, at the same time building a piggery,” Muntanga said.
She says the group is making uniforms for Mulanga Primary School and Nalombe Community School.
Muntanga says with the piggery project she has linked up her self-help group to an organisation in Zimba districts that specialises in rearing pigs.
And Elizabeth Banda Maimbolwa, who is Response Network deputy sponsorship officer, says Muntanga’s story was one of a few success accounts that has seen a woman get trained and embarks on a retraining of her peers.

“We are very proud of Muntanga and her initiative to train her peers in her village

Skills

Muntanga: Giving back to her community

is very impressive,” Maimbolwa said. “This is a true realisation of a saying that if you empower a woman, you train the entire community.”
She added that Response Network has trained several women in various skills at Zimba Skills Training Centre and the Youth Training Centre
in Livingstone, while others have ended up in teaching and nursing.

 

Kubala girls decide

As it appeares in the Mast Newspaper of February 27, 2018

 

Meeting Kubala girls

Frayor Chabauni (standing 4th right to left) with the 2017 Grade 12 Kubala girls

RN to sponsor vulnerable girls in unversity, college

By Edwin Mbulo
A LIVINGSTONE based non-governmental organisation has offered to sponsor four vulnerable girls for higher education training at any university or college.
And Response Network sponsorship officer Frayor Chabauni who is says her organisation is currently enlisting vulnerable girls for skills training sponsorship.
“We have about 85 vulnerable girls who completed Grade 12 last year under our educational fees sponsorship programme with the aid of Academic Works which operates in Europe. We under our sponsorship programme aim to ensure that vulnerable children whose guardians cannot afford to pay school, university or college fees get the desired education as long as they perform very well,” Chabauni said.
“For those girls who cannot make into university or college we encourage them to get skills training, so that they can be able to work on their own or finding a job. We have catering, tailoring, power electrical and auto mechanics skills training slots. We don’t want them to be so much dependent on the government for employment.”
She added that in 2016 two girls performed so well at Grade 12 level, and now studying medicine and adult education at university.
Chabauni further added that the girls who would successfully complete the tailoring course would be assisted with sewing machines as a starter pack.
“We will also contract them to make school uniforms which they can sale locally,” she said.
Chabauni added that Response Network had assisted thousands of vulnerable school children attain education and get skills training.
And addressing the vulnerable girls at a meeting held at Response Network offices in Livingstone, Chabauni urged the girls who completed school last year to decide what they wanted to do in life.
The girls who individually gave Chabauni their results said they want to pursue nursing, military clinical medicine, tailoring, catering, banking and finance.
Responsible Network under the country management of Håkon Spigseth Response Network also spearheads self-help projects education, health, agriculture, education, sports and micro-economics.
It currently operates in Zimba, Kazungula and Kalomo in Southern Province with the support of Academic Work (Sweden), Norwegian Church AID (NCA), the Joint Country Programme (JCP) formerly Norwegian Association of the Disabled (NAD), Norwegian Olympic and Paralympics Committee and Confederation of Sport (NIF), Judo for Fred, and several other organizations.

 

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UNLESS children are given the will power to raise the alarm against sexual abuse the number of child defilement cases may never reach a zero rate in Zambia, Africa.

Latest Zambia’s child sexual abuse for the period January to September 2017 stands at 1,466, according to a police report.

Despite that these figures are lower by 168 cases over the same period last year; the fight to end this vice has been intensified by Norway’s

RN/FK

Arja Beruang during a sexual abuse lecture to Grade 5 children of Holy Cross Primary School in Livingstone

Support Centre for Survivors of Incest and Sexual Abuse (SMISO in collaboration with Response Network.

SMSO representatives Ms. Preciosa Lurås and Ms. Arja Beruang working are conducting educational lectures for school going children in Livingstone and other neighbouring districts to bring an end to this vice.

At one lecture session Ms. Beruang told Grade 5 school boys and girls of Holy Cross Primary School in Livingstone that they were the masters of their bodies and that they should report any cases of defilement or improper touching of their bodies to the police.

Lecturing the averagely 11 year-olds in the presence of their class teacher Mary Mwaanga and a visiting Norway/Fredskorpset (FK) representative Ms. Nina Zimmer, Beruang said one out of four children are defiled in Zambia.

And Lurås told the children those that are defiled take about 17 years before they report of their ordeals.

And the Zambia Police in its third quarterly news update revealed that Lusaka province leads in defilement cases with 136 acts reported as the end of September followed by Central and Eastern Provinces.

The report made available by police spokesperson Mrs. Easther Mwata Katongo shows that a total of 416 child defilement cases were reported countrywide representing 8.2 per cent of the reported cases, victims all being girls.

“Lusaka Province recorded the highest number of defilement cases with 136 cases translating to 32.7 per cent of the reported defilement cases, Central recorded 50 cases, Eastern recorded 44 cases, Copperbelt 42 cases, Southern Province 39 cases, North-Western had 27 cases, while Muchinga and Luapula had 26 cases each. Northern Province had 11 cases while Western with nine (09) cases.”

The report added that the 2017 defilement cases reduction from the 2016’S 1,634 recorded in 2016 translating in to a reduction 10.3per cent.

“The country also recorded 9 cases of Defilement of imbeciles or persons with mental illness.  80 cases of Rape, 12 attempted rape and 22 indecent assault cases were also recorded during the period under review. 20 cases of incest were reported out of which 14 were females and 6 girl victims. Also recorded were 5 cases of unnatural offences out of which 3 were female victims, one 1 male adult and one male juvenile,” the report revealed.

NB: This story has since been used in Zambia’s independent Newspaper-The Mast of Thursday, November 16th.