U.S. Embassy Funds Community-based Solutions for Rural Malawians

Embassy of the United States

Old Mutual Building

P.O. Box 30016

Lilongwe 3

Internet: https://mw.usembassy.gov/

Facebook: U.S. Embassy Lilongwe

Tel:   (265) 1 772-222/414/992

Fax:  (265) 1 771-142

LILONGWE, October 7 – U.S. Ambassador to Malawi Virginia Palmer signed grants with six community groups today to support education, health, and environment projects in rural communities across Malawi.  The grants build on grants worth over $94,000 (MK49 million) issued to fourteen community-based organizations from the U.S. Ambassador’s Self-Help Program previously announced in August.

The additional funding — amounting to $42,210 (over MK24 million) — will improve education through construction of school blocks and a girls’ hostel in Ntchisi, Chitipa, and Rumphi and contribute to increased access to health services by children and women in Chikwawa.  A grant in Mzimba will reduce deforestation through the installation of a biogas digester to use cow dung as a source of fuel to cook meals for children in a community based child care center.

Addressing the new grantees, Ambassador Palmer said, “Over the past five years the U.S. Government, through the African Development Foundation and the Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Program, has assisted 109 locally-initiated development projects in Malawi with funding of $610,000 – that is over 230 million kwacha.”  The Ambassador added, “I am particularly pleased that one of the projects being funded today involves construction of school blocks and a girls’ hostel which will reduce the burden that young girls face in trying to complete secondary school.  Educating girls in Malawi is not only the right thing to do – but it’s good for their families, their communities, and Malawi as a whole as these girls become productive contributors to the Malawian economy.”

The U.S. Ambassador’s Self-Help Fund is designed to support community-driven development projects that address grassroots economic and social problems.  The program selects projects that 1) improve basic economic or social conditions at village level; 2) have a high-impact, can be quickly implemented, and benefit a large number of people; 3) involve a significant local contribution in labor, material, or cash; 4) are within the ability of the local community to operate and maintain; 5) are a direct response to the initiative and aspirations of the local community; and 6) make income-generating activities possible.

Contacts:         E.J. Monster – Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Embassy 

Marcus Muhariwa – Information Specialist, U.S. Embassy