Written by  McDonald Chiwayula
Stephanos Foundation-an international non-governmental organisation—has launched a K350 million project set to change lives of people in Namitalala, Blantyre rural area of Senior Chief Kuntaja.
Kuyokwa (Left) and Ham during the function Kuyokwa (Left) and Ham during the function
The five-year project ending in 2025  covers childhood development, access to education through the provision of new school blocks, water supply through drilling of boreholes, opening up economic opportunities to the locals through imparting of various skills among others.
Speaking through an interpreter, Johan Van Der Ham international executive director for the Foundation said at the launch: “Namitalala is a typical African village with a myriad of challenges ranging from poor access to education, water and economic opportunities.
“This place is remote and is not easily accessible but it is a safe place. You have lovely children here and as you all know Stephanos Foundation is child focused, it is our pleasure to start the programme for the next five years,” said Ham.
He said the programme cannot be achieved by the Foundation alone, pleading for “total community involvement to transform this area and with the help of God at the end of the project Namitalala will be a better place.”
Clifford Kuyokwa, executive director for the Foundation in Malawi, said despite that Namitalala is too remote for other NGOs to operate in but the Foundation is determined to deliver and make a difference especially for the children adding: “We will use a holistic approach so that even guardians of the children benefit from our interventions.”

Children like these dropout of primary school due to long distances


Namitalala envisaged picture in next five years

• Full primary school built.

• Adult literacy enhanced.

• Boreholes sank to end water woes.

• Child rights councils established.

• Lead farmers from all participating villages trained.

• Health surveillance assistants allocated to the village.

• Over 100 students from ultra-poor households get full primary school education.



The Foundation's  team ready to roll out the interventions

Thea Mawaya, Programmes Manager for the Foundation said during the launch that in the five year period her organisation is set to transform the village. 

“We will promote early childhood development in the communities and establish ECD learning centres across this area. The foundation will upgrade Namitalala from Junior to full primary school and fully furnish it. In addition teachers’ houses will be constructed and to spice it all a library will be constructed too.
 “These are just a few projects from the list in terms of education but the Foundation within the same time frame will run interventions in  agriculture, child protection, health and adoption,” said Mawaya.
 The development has caught attention of Blantyre District Council and commenting on the same Tamanya Harawa Director of Planning and Development at the Council said Government will support such development oriented initiatives through, “provision of expertise and guidance on all  infrastructure developments and community engagement programmes.”
 Kuyokwa said earlier engagements with the community helped to ensure the community embrace and have a sense of ownership to the upcoming projects.
Senior Chief Kuntaja pledges support with his subjects
 Adding his voice, Senior Chief Kuntaja said: “This area has been sidelined for quite a long time and my people here are in need of interventions like these. I pledge our commitment to work with the Foundation.” 
 Apart from Blantyre the Foundation has projects in Thyolo, Zomba and Chikwawa but all centred on enhancing the welfare of children.



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