Meet Jonathan Chikaonda, our sponsored student who got the highest points in his Malawi School Certificate Examinations (MSCE). Read our latest blog to learn more about Jonathan’s journey.
The Power of Community in Malawi
Local communities are the heart of change. Their involvement is integral to the success of Orant’s programs, including the Water & Sanitation Program. No one exemplifies this better than Agatha Yosef, village chief for Mzimuwakana village.
Agatha is inspiring in more ways than one. First, she is a female leader in a country that, like all countries, has historically pushed women to the margins. Second, she is a good leader. Her efforts created a blueprint that we hope other villages will follow.
Agatha’s village’s borehole serves 50 households. It was constructed on October 20th, 2020 by Orant. “When we were using a hand-dug well,” Agatha explains, “there were a lot of diarrhea cases. But now I have noticed that these cases are few. And we no longer travel long distances to neighboring villages in search of clean water.”
The village borehole also lessens the burden on women and girls. Before the borehole, girls were late to school. They had to fetch water in the mornings for their families. When they got to the closest well, they had to wait in a line. Sometimes, the water level was low. If this was the case, the girls had to walk another 1km to the borehole in Fulatila, a neighboring village. Because of how much time this labor took, some girls chose not go to school. But with Mzimuwakana’s borehole, this has changed. “Girls are no longer late for school because of water. There is always water available now,” Agatha says.
Agatha wants to maintain the fruits of this change. As a part of Mzimuwakana’s Water Point Committee, she has been proactive in mobilizing her community. “In our village, we believe that when a person has given you shoes, you don’t have to ask the same person to give you socks for the shoes. So, we decided to help ourselves in whatever way we can to take care of the water point which we have been given.”
Her Water Point Committee established bi-laws to assist with water point maintenance. Each household contributes a small monthly payment of 200 kwacha (25 US cents). For further funds, the committee members do piece work in people’s farms. All funds pay for the maintenance of the community’s water point.
In addition, the committee created a schedule to keep the water point clean. Each assigned household assists in hygiene efforts. “We have a very hardworking committee,” Agatha says. The committee has raised over 230,000 kwacha. They will use the funds for borehole fence rehabilitation and Afridev pump spare parts.
Agatha’s leadership inspires us. With strong community involvement like Mzimuwakana’s, sustainable change is possible.
The Orant Journal
We are excited to have trained the Chika Water Point Committee (WPC) as a way of ensuring sustainability. Read our latest blog to learn more about WPCs and the role they play.
For the first time in the school’s 26-year history, Ngala Community Day Secondary School has a laboratory with lab supplies and chemicals. Read this week’s blog post to feel the excitement Ngala students and teachers share due to this development!
We are excited to tell you about the new borehole our WASH program has drilled in Chika Village, T/A Njombwa in Kasungu. Read our latest blog to learn more about how this new borehole will change the lives of people in Chika Village.
Congratulations to our sponsored student, Alick Nathan. Alick recently graduated from Malawi University of Science and Technology with a Bachelor of Metallurgy and Materials Engineering Honors Degree. Read our latest blog to learn more about Alick’s journey!
Our Water and Sanitation program continues to make a significant difference in the lives of students in rural Malawi. Read our latest blog to learn about how we support hygiene initiatives in primary schools in Dowa, Malawi.
Students in our Education Program build relationships with the donors who sponsor them and allow them to attend secondary school in Malawi.
The Orant Ulemu Scholarship helps students achieve their dreams of education at university. Steven Chiundira is one of two recipients in 2023.
Yona Maloto has been a Water Field Assistant for Orant's Water & Sanitation Program since 2020. We interviewed him to learn more about his work.