USAID donates MK79 million to Nkhotakota NGO

United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through Care Malawi has donated K78.75 million to Nkhotakota AIDS Support Organization (NASO) for implementing a new three-year project known as Community Mobilization Project.

The project will be implemented in six traditional authorities (T/As) in Nkhotakota district.

NASO Executive Director, Tifa Ngoma disclosed this Friday in an interview with Malawi News Agency (Mana).

According to Ngoma, the goal of the project is to facilitate behavioural change that supports positive sustainable change in norms, attitude and individual household practices by December 2016.

Ngoma said their organization had decided to embark on the new project with an intention to create demand for comprehensive health services and to increase community ownership and sustainability of community mobilization.

He also said community mobilization project would enhance equitable coverage and community access to health services by men, women, girls and boys.

“The project has been designed to address the underlying causes of health issues such as gender-related power inequities, stigma, harmful cultural beliefs and discrimination which in order to change, require a deeper dialogue among community members and health providers in its catchment area,” Ngoma said.

In his remarks, NASO Programmes Manager Esther Hara said the project is focusing on areas of six essential health package which are maternal, newborn and child health, family planning, nutrition, HIV & AIDS, malaria as well as water and sanitation Hara said they would organize communities for action by orienting village development committee (VDCs) and Group Village Heads on community mobilization and also to hold series of community orientation sensitization meetings that would lead to formation of Community Action Groups (CAGs).

“The CAGs are to be trained on their roles and how to explore and prioritise health issues using problem tree, picture card and pair-wise ranking,” Hara said. She added that community developmental structures were yet to get training in leadership, conflict management, monitoring and evaluation.

On the issue of targeted operation areas, Hara said it would cover all traditional authorities in the district namely Senior Chief Mwadzama, T/A Mwansambo, Senior Chief Malengachanzi, T/A Mphonde, Senior Chief Kanyenda and T/A Kafuzira.

“However, in the first year, we are going to implement the project in the areas of traditional authorities Kafuzira, Kanyenda, Mphonde and Malengachanzi in the selected Group village heads,” the programmes manager said.

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