Skip to main content

ActionAid Malawi hands over Chitipa Local Rights Programme after 17 years of successful implementation

Empowered: Catherine standing in front of her goat kraal

Government hails ActionAid for empowering communities

ActionAid Malawi is today on 24th May, 2024, officially handing over the Chitipa Local Rights Programme to Malawi Government following remarkable and sustainable impact the organization and partners have registered in key sectors of women empowerment, education, health, and agriculture, among others. 

Themed: “Changing Lives Through Shifting Power” the ceremony will be presided over by Honourable Owen Chomanika, Deputy Minister of Local Government, Culture and National Unity, MP, senior government officials, Chitipa District Council officials, Civil Society Organisations, traditional leaders, media, local partners and the general public. 

Speaking ahead of the ceremony, ActionAid Malawi Executive Director, Yandura Chipeta, said the organisation’s impact in the area is evident in the improved wellbeing of women, girls and youth whose social, political and economic rights were previously undermined and were excluded from opportunities to participate in community, governance and political structures.

“In 2006, our poverty and vulnerability assessment showed that the quality of life in Nthalire was well below minimum standards, with a majority of women, children and girls living in multidimensional poverty, facing gender-based violence and exclusion.  However, through our Human Rights-based Approach (HRBA) to development, we have managed to organise and build the capacity of local partners and communities to take individual and joint action towards progressive realisation of rights in various sectors. We facilitated collectivization and formation of grassroot community-based organisations namely Nthalire Women Forum, Malumbo, Chigwirizano and Maukako CBOs that received annual grants for almost two decades to promote human rights and will continue to champion human rights in the area with support of various partners. Our assessment now shows that more communities are empowered and engaging with duty bearers on key issues pertaining their livelihood,” says Chipeta. 

According to the Program Assessment Report spanning between 2006 and 2023, the organization has supported a total of 15,024 women and girls to realise and claim their rights through building the capacity of partners to address structural causes of gender-based violence. The organization has also supported a total of 28,199 women and young women to actively challenge the structural barriers that prevent them from accessing and controlling productive resources such as land for farming. 

The report further shows that since 2006, a total of 1,234 Village Savings and Loan (VSL) groups have been established, benefiting 28,199 women. The VSL groups have enabled women to engage in small-scale businesses to advance their livelihood and wellbeing. 

With the increase in the climate change impacts and the rising cost of inorganic fertilizers, ActionAid Malawi has supported a total of 22,023 women to adopt agroecological technologies such as making organic fertilizers including Mbeya manure. ActionAid Malawi further supported the rehabilitation of Mibanga Irrigation Scheme which has spurred food security for over 200 farming households. 

In the education sector, the organization facilitated access to Early Childhood Development (ECD) for 4480 children (2179 boys and 2301 girls) through construction of 66 ECD centres and training of 660 caregivers. 

Under primary education, ActionAid Malawi and partners have improved the learning environment for 9,600 learners including 4745 girls. This has been achieved through rehabilitation of 21 classrooms, construction of 10 school blocks,  78 toilets and 15 teachers houses including eight female teachers’ houses and provision of 230 desks in the three education zones of Kalowe, Mahowe, and Therere in Traditional Authority Nthalire. This was complemented by training of learners’ councils, school management committees and mother groups in Promoting Rights in Schools (PRS) framework and improving governance of school related resources for gender-responsive education. 

Under Secondary education, ActionAid Malawi supported construction of a girls’ hostel, a female teacher’s house and two toilets at Mubanga Community Day Secondary, a development that has contributed to girls’ retention and completion of secondary school education. The organisation also supported vocational skills training and provision of startup materials for businesses to over 100 young women and men who are now running various entrepreneurship interventions to advance their wellbeing. 

Commenting on ActionAid Malawi achievements, Traditional Authority Nthalire says the organization has significantly changed the face of Nthalire. 

"ActionAid Malawi is the first name that comes to mind when we talk of NGOs’ contribution to the development of Nthalire. It has played a key role in ensuring that communities, especially women and the youth actively participate in development and governance affairs of this area. Before ActionAid Malawi came here, women were passive participants in development. However, they are now the key agents of change. For instance, before 2006, Nthalire had one female chief. We now have six Group Village Heads and 14 female heads because we have realised that women are equally capable to lead such positions,” he says. 

Director of Planning and Development at Chitipa District Council, Jossen Tembo, commends ActionAid Malawi for complementing the council’s efforts in implementing various development initiatives in the district, especially in Nthalire.

“ActionAid Malawi has been our one of  long-term trusted partners in development. The organization has significantly supported the council in the implementation of the District Development Plan by working in hard to reach areas where poverty levels are high. By focusing on both mind-set change and construction interventions, ActionAid Malawi has proved that championing the human rights for communities should go together with service provision. This is commendable and other organisations should emulate. As a council, we will ensure continuity and sustainability of the interventions because we worked jointly with ActionAid Malawi and their partners and that all the interventions were implemented through existing local government structures,” he says. 



To contact the ActionAid Malawi  Executive Director 



About ActionAid 

ActionAid Malawi (AAM) is an affiliate member of ActionAid Federation. It started working in Malawi in 1990. The organization was registered as a local Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) under the Companies Act (Reg. No. 8289) as a Company Limited by Guarantee. AAM has a two-tier governance system which is comprised of the General Assembly and Board of Directors.