Community Development at Mwabvi
We meet regularly with the Traditional Authorities and Village Chiefs to review progress at Mwabvi and look at ideas to help the local people. Our support depends on their cooperation with our work; people in this part of Malawi have become used to very short term help and handouts and we are helping them change this culture for one that looks to the longer term.
Our support comes in three different ways:
We are the fourth biggest full-time employer in the Lower Shire Districts of southern Malawi. The biggest by far is Illovo Sugar, followed by the local authorities and Department of National Parks and Wildlife.
We currently employ 57 people at Chipembere Camp for conservation and construction work inside the Wildlife Reserve. Most of the work is carried out by men, but we employ women to look after Migudu Campsite, as well as two women to assist us with cooking food for the orphans in our orphan feeding programme and we hope to employ others to look after Njati Lodge in the near future.
We are training several local people, including help with English lessons, to work on the community development programme, manage the lodge and campsite and oversee the work teams inside the reserve.
Community Support and Advice
PAW is at Mwabvi Wildlife Reserve for the long term and we have become neighbours with some of the most disadvantaged people on earth. So we are helping them in small ways like:
- the orphan feeding programme at Chimphanga Village;
- the school/village tree nursery and vegetable growing project which started at Tiza school and is expanding;
- the wound tending programme which offers basic health advice and assesses and treats infected wounds and grazes.
We are always looking for help with the community support programme - you can support one of the orphans, or your class or school could twin with the schools at Tiza or Kangani. Contact us for details.
This is an expanding area for PAW. We have discussed several potential agricultural projects with local people and are developing a business plan for alternative cash crops. We aim to grow crops that will offer high value with low volume compared to the cotton being promoted in the area.
Through 2010 we are developing the business plan and aim to secure commercial backing, which will provide cash for local people, a more secure agricultural base and funds for our conservation work. Watch this space!
PAW: Promoting environmental conservation and development in Malawi