End of first visit in Malawi
Our time in Malawi starts to come to an end. Being visiting the country for the first time I’m amazed by its beauty, grateful for the people we have meet along the way and the conversations we have had with our partner organizations.
During this week a lot of focus has been on financial management. The week started with a workshop with MIRECE where Markus went through Forum Syd’s guidelines and requirements. In order to get a mutual understanding and build capacity within the organization, the budget of the project was thoroughly gone through step by step. Since MIRECE never has had a project on this scale before it was important to take time to reflect and given the executive members the opportunity to ask questions. A new auditor was also appointed and the paper work could be finalized yesterday by the presence of one of the board members as Somanje had to attend a meeting in Blantyre.
Continuing from where we ended last week with LUPPEN, encounters and opportunities were identified from the needs assessment followed by a discussion on how to build on the knowledge we had gained throughout the project – in other words how could we make a new project idea that was going to speak to the challenges women and men were facing in the selected settlements.
The report showed that at the moment people were not able to demand their rights due to lack of knowledge and strategies of how to approach institutions and people in power. To empower women and men to advocate for their rights to human dignity and land (property) rights and allow the inhabitants of Yepa, Chakhutamadzi, Chigoneka and Mphonde to voice their concerns, they needed capacity building and a forum where stakeholders and duty-bearers could be held accountable. To make the advocacy part of the project successful, key stakeholders for the project were identified and we talked about strategies on how to engage them in for example interface meeting and live debate.
In between our meetings with the LUPPEN and MIRECE Markus and I have been brainstorming around activities for next year, including how we can make MUD Africa become more well-known both to our current target groups but also to a wider audience. All in all it has been two intense weeks and tomorrow we are flying home but I know I will be back sooner rather than later!
For more updates and pictures from our two-week visit in Malawi, see our instagram. We also encourage everyone to follow our instagram account for pictures taken from activities throughout the project.