Background: Food shortages affect 1.6 million people every year and an estimated 47% of children have stunted growth because of under-nutrition, making them vulnerable to illness and learning difficulties.

Malawi is considered one of the poorest countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Its’ Human Development Index (HDI) is 0.400 “which gives the country a rank of 171 out of 187 countries with comparable data”. With inflation at 25%, it has become increasingly difficult for persons to feed their families. Hopes of being free of the poverty cycle are dashed as persons struggle to survive, educate their children, and seek to stay healthy. The structural violence that some say determines these contingencies, requires imaginative and practical development proposals and solutions.

Salama SHIELD’s programmatic intervention is two-pronged:

(1) food security interventions, and

(2) access to training and finances through a Micro-credit Revolving Loan (MCRL) Program.

We currently focus on 2 community-based groups of vulnerable women – one in the capital city of Lilongwe, Malawi, and the other just outside Lilongwe, in Dowa. Our goal is to double this effort in the next year with appropriate support.

Results through 2013/2014 include:

  • The completion of Permaculture Training of vulnerable women in 2 districts which includes:
  • Modern and conservation farming methods
  • Irrigation
  • Nutrient diversity, herb and vegetable produce diversity
  • Making of compost
  • Proper food storage facilities
  • Crop savings
  • Record and budget keeping
  • Demonstration gardens established for training purposes.

* Local staple of maize planting was supported, but also the amalgamation of permaculture methods that effectively fed their families in the ‘dry season’ between crops.

· MCRL programme initiated, providing trainings in:

  •  Savings
  • Budgeting
  • Business plans
  • Record keeping
  • Successful businesses include the selling of chickens, eggs and growing and selling of garden produce – beans, peanuts and potatoes!

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