For the past four years, under the guidance of Peter Timmerman, Southern Africa Team Leader, we managed to strengthen partner capacities in the country, especially on issues related to planning and program implementation.
There has been close and continuous follow-up at the organizational level, ensuring that new skills, tools, and resources are successfully adapted and become standard operating procedures.
The communities in which we work are vulnerable to shocks and disasters. We worked with these communities to become prepared and resilient; however, some of the communities were severely affected by floods and droughts in the same year in which our programs began (January and March 2015). Crops were swept away, and over 1,000 homes were destroyed.
Immediately after the floods, World Renew supported with recovery by helping local partners with relief items for their homes and with seeds to help people get back on their feet.
World Renew staff and partners (Anglican – Diocese of Niassa in Niassa Province, and Espanor in Zambezia Province) are now easily meeting the targets and achieving greater impact in their programs.
Through our intervention in agriculture and in food security sectors, farmers in the targeted communities are changing their production methods. They are realizing that their previous way of planting maize seeds, for instance (many seeds in one hole), produced poor results. Lead farmers and others who were influenced experimented planting with fewer seeds during the 2015-16 planting season, and they saw that this method produced better results.
As the nutrition program is about to start, we emphasize that health and nutrition are intricately linked with farming, food production, income generation, culture, and community life. Therefore the ongoing agricultural program is laying a foundation in the sense that farmers are becoming more aware of how to increase their production in a sustainable manner; the upcoming program will also, in the medium and long terms, contribute to healthy families and communities, which are needed to continue the cycle of people living sustainably on the land.
Similarly, awareness of the value of the village-based savings and loans program is picking up, and we are conducting training and refreshment trainings to the partners who are engaged in supporting emerging groups. Due to the lack of financial institutions in rural areas, these groups are helping the local people to save money for times of need. Some of the participants in the savings groups have begun small businesses; others have bought household goods; some are saving money for seed purchases; and most have bought school supplies for their children.