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Transforming lives in Chiluzi thanks to the Big Give 2017 – update 1

Posted on: July 1, 2018
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With planning underway for this year’s Big Give Christmas Challenge, we should not forget the amazing impact of our successful 2017 Big Give campaign in which we raised over £12,000 to enable us to deliver clean water, sanitation and improved nutrition for children under-5 AND hygiene behaviour change for all members of surrounding communities.

We have been updating and will continue to update our supporters who donated to our 2017 Big Give project and are now sharing progress with the rest of the world.

In this first update, we introduce the pre-school and community of Chiluzi village then outline some of the progress to-date focused on community engagement to promote commitment and sustainability.

Introducing the community and pre-school of Chiluzi

Thanks to  support through the Big Give campaign, we will transform the lives for 46 boys and 62 girls under-5 who are looked after by 4 volunteer caregivers.  We will also improve lives for hundreds of other members in the community and future generations.

These 108 children currently attend the Chiluzi pre-school, known locally as a CBCC or Community Based Childcare Centre.  Chiluzi CBCC is located in the Kapondo Traditional Authority in Mchinji District.

Community engagement is key for ongoing sustainability

To ensure commitment and a sense of ownership, we held community awareness and mobilisation meetings.  During the meetings, the project team and council members agreed on roles and responsibilities of all key stakeholders at District and community levels.  Here is a photo of Chiluzi community members attending a mobilisation meeting:

Outcomes:

* It’s the taking part that counts: Community members are encouraged to participate throughout the project. To demonstrate commitment, they are asked to provide sand, bricks and labour for the construction of the water point and latrines at the CBCC.

* A committed committee: During the community mobilisation, the project team collaborate with the District Council team to facilitate the establishment of the CBCC Management committee to ensure smooth running of the project implementation. The CBCC management committee oversees the project implementation at the CBCC and manages resources during and after the project. The committee is made up of ten people, five of whom are given specific roles: chair, vice chair, secretary, vice secretary and treasurer.

* Back to school for the caregivers: The four caregivers (pictured below, from left: Ackillas, Mwatitha, Chipiliro and Prisca) learned how they can promote sanitation and hygiene at the CBCC after attending five days of training at Rewards Lodge in Mchinji Town. The training focused much on behavioural practices such as proper handwashing at critical times (such as before eating) and proper use of latrines.

These stages have secured community buy-in and started to raise awareness about hygiene and sanitation.  In the next update we will update you on preparations for the physical construction of improved water and sanitation facilities at the CBCC.

We would like to say a huge thank you to all supporters of the 2017 Big Give campaign and invite others to support this work and indeed the 2018 Big Give Christmas Challenge later this year