Ruth Julius is 38, married with 5 children, 2 boys and 3 girls. Ruth lives in Kamphata Village, T/A Chimombo, Nsanje District and participates in the DFID, Norwegian Government and Irish Aid funded DISCOVER (Developing Innovative Solutions with Communities to Overcome Vulnerability through Enhanced Resilience) project with GOAL. Ruth is a member of the VSL and Chitetezo Mbaula (energy efficient stove) initiative. She is also the chairperson of the Village Civil Protection Committee (VCPC).
Ruth recognizes the value of education to ensure a bright future for her children. She sites sending her children to school as the primary reason she joined the local Village Savings and Loans (VSL) scheme. Ruth highlights her improved purchasing power as a result of the scheme: “I have been able to buy a lot of things, iron sheets, a goat and food for the children. This time I am going to buy school uniform for all my children…this way they can’t be sent back from school”. The Chitetezo Mbaula and the VSL groups
have made a huge difference to her life: “I get money from selling the Mbaula, and I then save it with the group…this money helps us
a lot as a family…I am able to buy things with it…if I didn’t have this money I am afraid my girls could have chosen to get married because
as a parent I would have failed them”. Ruth notes that poverty often contributes to early marriage among young girls in her community.
- 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