By Demetria Herman

Thousands of People have earned from what Catholic Development Commission in Malawi (CADECOM) imparted in them through A+Project using Strength Based Approach (SBA) which mainly emphasizes on making use of the locally available resources to promote Development.

CADECOM a development arm of Episcopal Conference of Malawi with support from Caritas Australia was implementing A+Project in the Dioceses of Karonga, Mzuzu, Blantyre and Lilongwe in a bid to improve food security and access to water and sanitation while addressing gender inequalities, ensuring child protection as well

The Secretary General of Episcopal Conference of Malawi, Fr Henry Saindi said the Strength Based Approach (SBA) that CADECOM adopted during the Project implementation has helped a lot of People in the communities to realize that they can do anything to improve their community with or without finances from outside

“Strength Based Approach is whereby the Project looks at what is there already in the community and let the communities identify their own needs and come up with various options in order to improve the life of their communities so that with or without finances from outside, the people must be able to build their capacity. Through this approach, CADECOM trained the communities to use the locally available resources in the fight against poverty. Some of the developmental initiatives that have been achieved through SBA include the making of Stoves from soil, which the people use for cooking; Irrigation and animal farming, and the proper use of latrines to improve hygiene among the people living in the community.

The initiatives have helped in conserving the environment, save the people’s time when preparing food and saves women from walking long distances to fetch firewood,” clarified Fr Saindi

He further said A+Project has reached out to thousands of people especially the vulnerable and marginalized groups which was a very important as it looked at a number of areas where people were struggling as one of the fundamental principles of the Catholic Social Teaching.

“A plus project is basically a very important project because it looked at areas where our people were struggling, one of which being ensuring that there is food security among the targeted beneficiaries. As you are aware, one of the fundamental principles of the Catholic Social Teaching is to consider and look at the uplifting of those that are marginalized. So, the guiding principle has been to look at Option for the poor. When we say the poor, we are looking at Widows, households that are being managed by young People, People living with HIV/AIDS, People with various disabilities among others. We can say we have registered a number of successes because the communities now understand the importance of water and sanitation, hygiene in their communities and there are able to do different hand works and save money as a result of A+Project,” said Fr Saindi

Fr Saindi later appreciated Caritas Australia for their support during the implementation of the project and appealed to them to consider a successor project as this project come to an end

“We would like to register a word of appreciation to our partners especially Caritas Australia for Technical and financial support rendered to us for the past five years we have been implementing this project. A+Project has been a successful project as communities have leant how to live in hygienic conditions and also realized that they have the right of access to development activities.

so, as we come to the end of the project, we appeal for more support to ensure complete transformation of the people we serve. We would want to see successor project commencing because there are so many areas which People need to be supported with,” Added Fr Saindi

The program targeted a total of 8,000 direct participants. CADECOM has been implementing this project for five years with funding from Caritas Australia.