Malawi Broadcasting Corporation
Africa Development Feature Local Local News

SOCIAL CASH TRANSFER RESHAPES LIVES IN DEDZA

In the serene landscapes of Dedza in the central region of Malawi, the echoes of transformation resonate through the narratives of resilient women who have found a lifeline in the 2023/24 Social Cash Transfer season.

As the sun sets, casting a warm glow on Chabuka Village, we meet Benosi Chitukuko, a mother of four, whose life has taken a hopeful turn.

For Chitukuko, the Social Cash Transfer programme has been a game-changer.

She shares her journey from grappling with poverty to achieving financial stability as with the assistance of the programme, she has been able to purchase goats and acquire iron sheets, tangible symbols of a newfound economic resilience that was once a distant dream.

“I never thought I could afford such things,” Chitukuko says with a smile, her eyes reflecting a sense of accomplishment.

The Social Cash Transfer has not only alleviated immediate financial burdens but has also empowered her to envision a more secure future for her family.

In neighbouring Langisoni Village, another beneficiary, Lifosina Manyozo, has redirected her share of the programme towards community development.

By investing in a village savings and loan group, Manyozo has not only secured her family’s future but has also paved the way for educational opportunities for her children.

“The programme allowed me to break the cycle of poverty by ensuring my children have access to education,” Manyozo shares passionately.

The ripple effect of her investment is felt not only within her family but also the entire village.

Behind the scenes, Emmanuel Khumba, the Social Cash Transfer Desk Officer for Dedza, witnesses firsthand the transformative impact of the programme on the lives of the village folks.

He testifies to the positive changes but does not shy away from acknowledging the challenges faced.

“Undoubtedly, the program is greatly changing the lives of villagers. However, we do face challenges with some beneficiaries misusing their funds,” Khumba states.

He highlights instances of funds being diverted towards alcohol consumption and extramarital affairs, creating tension within families.

In response, Khumba emphasizes the importance of discouraging such behaviour, urging beneficiaries to utilize the funds responsibly for the betterment of their families and communities.

Despite these challenges, Dedza has seen a significant increase in Social Cash Transfer beneficiaries, with 19,600 individuals benefiting from the programme – a notable rise from the 18,527 enrolled in 2022.

Reported by Sothine Ndazi

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