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Building Resilience in Malawi

Lise’s seven grandchildren and her great-grandchild pose for photo outside Lise’s home in Malawi.

Since Lise Lebiya began receiving a small but regular monthly payment, her grandchildren are no longer hungry and they can go to school to get a good education.

With our support, the Government of Malawi is ensuring that Lise Lebiya’s seven grandchildren and great grandchild now have enough to eat and are able to stay in school. And the future looks more hopeful for Lise’s family. 

Since Lise Lebiya began receiving a small but regular monthly payment, her grandchildren are no longer hungry, they can go to school to get a good education, and Lise has been able to save enough to buy a goat and chickens and to fix her roof.

Lise is a widowed grandmother who lives in Mzembera in central Malawi. Like many grandparents in Malawi, when her daughter died, she was left to care for her seven grandchildren and great grandchild. She hadn’t enough food to feed the children who were malnourished and frequently sick. Because they had to work to get food, the children were missing a lot of school. The future did not look very hopeful for Lise’s family.

Being able to meet their needs

Now, thanks to a new programme introduced by the Government of Malawi and funded by Irish Aid, Lise and her family get a small payment every month of MK2600 (about €12) to help them meet their needs. Like other very poor families across Malawi, the Lebiya family uses the money to buy food and to save up for livestock. 

Small but regular supports help ensure that vulnerable families have enough to eat, and are able, once their basic needs are met, to save and plan for the future. 

 

They also receive a small bonus of MK200, or about 50 cents, for each child who attends primary school. With over 70% of people in Malawi living on less than a $1.25 a day, even a small amount of money like this can make the difference between the children staying in school or having to drop out.

Growing enough food

 As a smallholder farmer, Lise also receives maize and a bag of fertilizer through a support programme for poor farmers put in place by the Malawian Government. Between the fertilizer and the cash payment, the children can stay in school and the family can grow enough nutritious food to feed themselves, as well as buy any essentials that they cannot grow.

Supporting Governments to help their own people

Ireland supports these national programmes because we recognise that cash payments and other supports can make a huge difference to the lives of very poor people. Such small but regular supports help ensure that vulnerable families have enough to eat, and are able, once their basic needs are met, to save and plan for the future.

The programmes are managed and implemented by the Malawian government as part of the national effort to reduce poverty and hunger. In this way such programmes can be sustained into the future and bring long term benefits to all the people of Malawi.  

Something we can be proud of

28,000 Ireland has helped the Malawi Government to deliver the National Social Cash Transfer Programme to almost 28,000 poor households, totalling around 140,000 people.