Mzuzu Diocese CADECOM with funding from Caritas Australia is implementing A+ program in Traditional Authority Chisovya in Rumphi and Traditional Authority Jalavikuba in Mzimba North and targets 1000 households. This is an integrated community development programme which is in the fourth year of five years’ implementation. One of the project fruits is Sekelelani club of Lukali VDC in Rumphi district.
Sekelelani club was formed in 2017 with the aim of empowering community members in different development activities. It is composed of 15 members [3m (1), 11f (0)]. The driving force for the formation of the club was mainly due to common problems among community members and the coming in of A+ project approach. The common problems which were mainly faced by the community members were; incapability in sustaining themselves in daily basic needs (shelter), insufficient food among family members and also incapable of providing fees for their children. The approach used in A+ project is Strength Based Approach (SBA). SBA contributed to the formulation of Sekelelani club. SBA states that communities need to utilize the locally available resources without any direction from outside individuals or agencies. So with this rational Sekelelani club thought it would be wise to use locally available resources in constructing a pig house. The only deficiency the club had was the piglets but it was later solved due to the coming in of CADECOM. After conducting trainings on livestock pass on scheme, Sekelelani benefited 2 piglets from the intervention.
Many developments occurred after the livestock pass on scheme intervention. The club members worked in hand to raise the 2 piglets by taking good care of them. In terms of feeding the pigs and taking good measurements in controlling diseases in piglets. In the process of taking good care of the pigs, it gave birth to 7 piglets. Due to the pass on scheme intervention all the 7 piglets were distributed among the 7 club members. This was not the endline of the story, the pig then gave birth to 10 piglets and 8 piglets were distributed to the remaining 8 members of the club who did not receive from the first pass on scheme. Making the club to remain with 2 piglets which were also later given to another club Sekelelani 2 with the same intervention of pass on scheme. The process of giving birth did not stop in the second phase. The pig then gave birth to 11 piglets in the third phase and they were raised to a point of selling. The summation of selling pigs amounted to MK660, 000.00 (894.92USD). After a while the 3 pigs also gave birth to piglets. As currently remains 34 pigs in total.
The money generated in selling the pigs contributed to the birth of Sekelelani Village Savings and Loans Association (VSLAs). With an interest rate of 10% after borrowing among the club members and 30% interest rate to non-members.
Due to the intervention of CADECOM with support from Caritas Australia, the club members are able to provide the daily needs (shelter) for their families, fees required by their children and food for their families. One member of Sekelelani club, Mazaza Mhango said “the coming in of A+ project has helped me to have pigs of my own which after selling they help me to provide food for my family and fees for my children, it has also help me to find the immediate loans. Most loan institutions require tedious and exasperated protocols for someone to be considered on a loan list such as collateral. Most of us do not have items for collateral, so the coming in of CADECOM trainings has also helped us to formulate our own savings and loan institution (VSLAs) through livestock pass on scheme which helps us to purchase farm inputs (fertilizer, seeds, pesticides). Pig farming has also gave us a by-product of manure which are shared among the club members. These manure are applied in our respectively vertical gardens or in our farms.” He also added that “for sustainability base, Sekelelani formulated a vision 2022 to have as many as possible
pigs to supply to other clubs interested in the same business and also to supply to institutions interested (World vision and CADECOM). Since institutions desires good quality pigs and in large quantities, Sekelelani club will even foster the good management skills which are already been practiced. Hence we say thank you CADECOM and we say thank you Caritas Australia for the help.”
By Fishani Mkandawire.