Tag Archives: Malawi

 

Duniya Mike

Duniya Mike, is 25 years and lives in Chindungwa village in the Salima District. She has three children, one boy and two girls aged between six months and seven years. She married her husband Mike in 2007. Duniya describes that period as one of hardest moments in her life: “He was hitting me, and when he had money he spent that money on other ladies. During my first pregnancy, I told him we should go to the hospital together for a HIV test but he refused and was very angry with me.”

In 2011, MIAA (Malawi Interfaith Aids Association) with Trócaire support, implemented a program called “Tiyeni Tisinthe, Together Let’s Change”, in Salima. The programe aims to reduce women’s vulnerability to HIV infection through gender transformative interventions and the elimination and modification of harmful cultural and religious practices. Mike was approached in 2012 to participate in training on gender and HIV. Within a few months of his attendance, Duniya began to notice real changes. “When he came from the training, he shared with me what he had learnt there. He doesn’t hit me anymore, he is a different man. Before, he would spend all the money with other girls but now he brings the money home and we sit together to make a proper budget.

“Nowadays, I am a happy woman. He helps me at home because with 3 children is not easy. I feel he is the man I fall in love. I have him back, thanks to MIAA.”


  •  This case study was prepared as part of the Gallery Exhibition to commemorate the visit of the President of the Republic of Ireland, His Excellency Michael D Higgins to Malawi in November 2014, and later to coincide with the launch of the 16 Days of Activism against GBV on November the 25th, 2014.
  • Pictures taken by: Chipiliro Khonje.
 

Ezinta Mzoze

Ezinta Mzoze lives in Mpopela in the Salima District. She is unsure when she was born. Ezinta is a farmer with 4 children, two girls and two boys. She never attended school.

Ezinta married her husband Grevinson in 1989 but immediately experienced problems. She says: “My husband preferred beer to me most of the time.” Rather than financially supporting his family, he spent all their money getting drunk. He was extremely violent, frequently beating Ezinta. In 2013 Grevinson was invited to take part in a program called ‘Let’s Change Together’ implemented in Salima District by Malawi Interfaith Aids Association with Trócaire support. The program trains men to conduct peer outreach education on gender and HIV; Grevinson is now a male motivator promoting the rights of women and girls in the surrounding areas.

Ezinta says “I’m proud of him. He’s changed completely. He has stopped beating me, he’s stopped drinking: We now grow our crops together, he gives me money to buy all the things I need for the house”

During her last pregnancy Grevinson accompanied her on all her pre natal visits and they found out their HIV status. They now both counsel and support others to live positively with HIV.

Eliza says “ I want to continue to walk side by side with my husband this makes me happy. I want more people to benefit from this intervention, many women live in hell as I did, but their lives can too change for the better.”

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  •  This case study was prepared as part of the Gallery Exhibition to commemorate the visit of the President of the Republic of Ireland, His Excellency Michael D Higgins to Malawi in November 2014, and later to coincide with the launch of the 16 Days of Activism against GBV on November the 25th, 2014.
  • Pictures taken by: Chipiliro Khonje.
  Duniya M’bwana from Nysanguzu village, in the Salima district.

Duniya M’bwana

Duniya M’bwana lives in Nysanguzu village, in the Salima district. She is unsure of her age, her mother died on the same day she was born. She is married with 5 children and one grandchild. Duniya is a subsistence farmer. She married in 1998 but her husband never cared or supported her. She struggled financially to provide food for her children.

Duniya tells us that her relationship with her husband was difficult, “we worked together in the fields, but the only noise was the birds singing and the sound of our hoes tilling the earth. He would come home, and eat his own food whilst I ate with my children in another room. We were together but living separate lives.”

Duniya’s husband twice left his family for South Africa to have a better life, and earn money, both times he returned with no money, or gifts for his children. She was very disappointed but could not speak out as she was afraid of him.

In 2012 Duniya’s husband participated in MIAA and Trócaire Tiyeni Tisinthe project which offered training on Gender and HIV. As a result Duniya says he “learned to be a husband and father, he has apologized for treating me badly, he talks to me and shares his feelings. In turn I do the same. Now, my children are happy because they see their parents happy. Now, he takes care of me and our children. I feel I have someone. I know I am not alone in the world.”


  •  This case study was prepared as part of the Gallery Exhibition to commemorate the visit of the President of the Republic of Ireland, His Excellency Michael D Higgins to Malawi in November 2014, and later to coincide with the launch of the 16 Days of Activism against GBV on November the 25th, 2014.
  • Pictures taken by: Chipiliro Khonje.
 

Edrina Kenamu

Edrina Kenamu, is 28, and chief of Kandusiwa Village, in Salima District. She has 3 children, all girls, and is educated to primary school level. People in her village respect and like her and it’s easy to understand why. Her smile is contagious and she speaks with the confidence of a leader.

Edina married at 19 but her relationship was not harmonious. “When I married my husband was going out every day. I knew he was cheating on me. I was scared because our family was at risk of HIV infection. We stopped having sex. I felt bad and I felt unloved. I wondered if I should leave, I almost started an affair with another man.”

Her husband explains their violent home life. “I was beating her and I believed I had that right because I am a man. I was wrong. She took the beatings but in turn beat our children, perhaps she had learned this from me.” After nine years of this, things changed dramatically when Edrina’s husband joined MIAA and Trócaire Tiyeni Tisinthe program in Salima.

Edina says “It was the best thing that happened to me, to us. My husband stopped going out, and staying away and he started to help me at our home. I never thought that was possible. I am living in a dream. We sit together and we discuss everything, even sex. We trust each other now. There is no more violence in our home and we teach our children they too must live this way”


  •  This case study was prepared as part of the Gallery Exhibition to commemorate the visit of the President of the Republic of Ireland, His Excellency Michael D Higgins to Malawi in November 2014, and later to coincide with the launch of the 16 Days of Activism against GBV on November the 25th, 2014.
  • Pictures taken by: Chipiliro Khonje.
 

Nellie Mhango

Nellie is 61 years old and lives in Karonga district. She is single and physically challenged and lives with her two grandsons. Nellie has never owned livestock and lacked knowledge on climate resilience as her education levels are those of a primary school leaver. This made her extremely vulnerable to long periods of hunger, particularly in times of drought. Under DISCOVER Project, Nellie received two pigs which are acting as a source of manure, and source of protein. This conserves moisture needed for proper crop growth in case the area is hit by erratic rains. She also benefited 1000 tubes of Faiderbhia albida (Nsangu), Acacia lebbeck (Mtangatanga) for her tree nursery which will act as a shield in times of strong winds. She owns a solar gadget, Chitetezo Stove, which uses less amount of firewood as compared to the conventional three stone fire.

Nellie was quoted saying ‘pakhomo pano ndi pamwana alirenji, zakudya ndi zosasowa’ zikomo DISCOVER Project’. Meaning “this home never lacks anything, food is available at all times”. And continued saying, ‘Nzeru ndi mphamvu’ ndiyesetsa kuti anthu ambiri adziwe za kusintha kwa nyengo ndi kuphelera kwacha’. Meaning “knowledge is power, will ensure more people learn on climate change and mitigating the impact. Thanks to the DISCOVER Project.”


  •  This case study was prepared as part of the Gallery Exhibition to commemorate the visit of the President of the Republic of Ireland, His Excellency Michael D Higgins to Malawi in November 2014, and later to coincide with the launch of the 16 Days of Activism against GBV on November the 25th, 2014.
  • Pictures taken by: Chipiliro Khonje.
 

Martha Hiwa

Martha Hiwa is a physically challenged woman from Kalembo village in Balaka District. She did not finish Primary School. She is married in a polygamous marriage and spends most of her time on her own, as she says her husband prefers his other wife. In the past, Martha was food insecure and lacked basic household essentials. She was excluded from development programmes on the basis of her being physically challenged. Under Self Help Africa initiatives in Kalembo Impact Area, Martha received 3 goats (2 does and 1 buck) in 2007 after the Village Development Committee learnt in one of the trainings that women empowerment, joint decision making on equal access and control of resources amongst males and females in families, reduces gender based violence in communities.

To date she has 6 goats of her own, something she never envisioned she would possess. She has been able to construct a good house and user friendly toilet as she could not access the available toilets due to walking difficulties.

She was quoted as saying “I did not know that I can own my own livestock in this life, thanks to Self Help Africa”. She is a now a role model in her village, proving to the community that “disability is not inability”.


  •  This case study was prepared as part of the Gallery Exhibition to commemorate the visit of the President of the Republic of Ireland, His Excellency Michael D Higgins to Malawi in November 2014, and later to coincide with the launch of the 16 Days of Activism against GBV on November the 25th, 2014.
  • Pictures taken by: Chipiliro Khonje.
 

Lucia Kanyoza

Lucia Kanyoza and her husband from Chibvala Extension Planning Area in Dowa district, planted amaranth seed on 3 standard beds in their garden and they were amazed by the income they realised from the sales. With little effort, they managed to harvest twice a week in a period of five weeks. Every time Lucia takes her vegetable to the market for sale, she brings home between MwK3,500 and MwK 3,700. This is a much higher profit compared to earnings from the same volume of other vegetables she also sells. The money is used to buy food and other basic necessities for the household. Since the activities were done as a family, it has helped Lucia to have access and control over the household resources.

Lucia was quoted as saying ‘taphunzira kugwira ntchito limodzi ngati banja,’ meaning ‘Me and my husband have realised the goodness of planning together. This has reduced gender based violence (GBV) in our household as there is greater harmony, and well being in the family.”

The family of Mr and Mrs Kazinga are now a role model in the fight against gender and domestic violence in their community because of the benefits they have realised from the access and control of the resources they get from farming proceedings.


  •  This case study was prepared as part of the Gallery Exhibition to commemorate the visit of the President of the Republic of Ireland, His Excellency Michael D Higgins to Malawi in November 2014, and later to coincide with the launch of the 16 Days of Activism against GBV on November the 25th, 2014.
  • Pictures taken by: Chipiliro Khonje.
 

Malita Chikhosi

Born 41 years ago Malita Chikhosi is happily married to Village Head man Funsani. They have three sons and live in Dowa district. Life before chicken production was difficult for Malita as she could not access money from her husband, who was the sole provider of the home. Due to cultural norms they never realized it was possible for husband and wives to sit together and plan for the family. Thanks to Self Help Africa who initiated a programme specifically to uplift lives of women economically, Malita joined a group of 10 women who received 200 hundred chickens. The group managed to keep them all alive and now they are selling cocks. In the group men were involved in constructing khola’s in a way of reinforcing families to work together and in the process there were discussions on gender equality.Currently the women are selling the chickens at an average price of MK 3,000.00 and managed to share MK 19,000 from cockerel sales in 4 weeks time. They are hoping to get MK 300,000 from the egg sales with which they will buy fertilizer for the maize gardens and pay school fees for their children. This has increased Malita’s confidence in decision making as she is able to plan together with her husband in a way teaching her husband the goodness of planning together.

She was quoted as saying “if all goes according to plan we will construct a house with iron sheets’


  • This case study was prepared as part of the Gallery Exhibition to commemorate the visit of the President of the Republic of Ireland, His Excellency Michael D Higgins to Malawi in November 2014, and later to coincide with the launch of the 16 Days of Activism against GBV on November the 25th, 2014.
  • Pictures taken by: Chipiliro Khonje
 

Grace Petros

Grace Petros was born in 1958, she is married and has six children, five boys and one girl. Grace comes from Mlemba Village, T/A Nyachikadza, Nsanje District. Grace described the situation for women and girls in times of flooding prior to GOAL’s intervention under the DipECHO III and Irish Aid funded programme.

“I once came to live on the camps when floods and disaster struck… at first we used to rent houses but there was a challenge because people used to steal our property and the rented spaces were not always safe places for women and girls. The men sometimes go to rent houses and leave us to stay on the camp”.

Grace acknowledges the impact of the GOAL established Bitilinyu evacuation centre in protecting women and girls from Nyachikadza Village during times of disaster. When asked what her biggest hopes and fears for her one daughter are, she said: “I would like her to finish school and find a good job, she needs to save herself so that she doesn’t contract diseases, these days the world is no longer the same”. Grace is proud of her keen farming abilities which support her and her family.


  • This case study was prepared as part of the Gallery Exhibition to commemorate the visit of the President of the Republic of Ireland, His Excellency Michael D Higgins to Malawi in November 2014, and later to coincide with the launch of the 16 Days of Activism against GBV on November the 25th, 2014.
  • Pictures taken by: Chipiliro Khonje
 

Veronica Obed

Veronica Obed is 43 and lives in Chazuka Village T/A Tengani in Nsanje District. Veronica is married and has 7 children, 4 boys and 3 girls. Veronica participates in the DFID, Norwegian Government and Irish Aid funded DISCOVER project (Developing Innovative Solutions with Communities to Overcome Vulnerability through Enhanced Resilience) with GOAL.

Veronica spoke of how joining the Chitetezo Mbaula (energy efficient stove) group has reduced the need for firewood. Veronica notes that the reduced time spent travelling long distances for firewood has minimised the risk of gender based violence. “We had to travel long distances waking up at 4am…we would meet nasty men who would want to take advantage of us, at times we were caught in traps set for wild animals, which was risky and painful”. Veronica also spoke of the difference the Chitetezo Mbaula has made to her life.

“…using the Mbaula our firewood lasts for some time, for at least 2 weeks. With the Mbaula we can even use bean stalks to light the fire”.

The Mbaula has made a huge difference to Veronica and other women’s lives in that they no-longer have to frequently travel to the forest to fetch firewood. In addition Veronica says the Mbaula has impacted positively on the overall wellbeing of her and her family in terms of increasing income generating opportunities integral to women’s self-empowerment.

“We sell the Mbaula we make in the group and buy household stuff and we get that money and use for VSL” (Village savings and Loans).


  • This case study was prepared as part of the Gallery Exhibition to commemorate the visit of the President of the Republic of Ireland, His Excellency Michael D Higgins to Malawi in November 2014, and later to coincide with the launch of the 16 Days of Activism against GBV on November the 25th, 2014.
  • Pictures taken by : Chipiliro Khonje