Women Together Malawi - Spring 2019
In May we returned to Malawi after a season of heavy rains, cyclones, and floods that left many of our women's groups with severe damage to their crops. For these subsistence farmers, a poor harvest means scarcity of food and money for the rest of the year. So you can imagine that our groups are eager to learn new income generating skills ASAP.
Since February we have held 4 Women's Learning Exchanges in soap making, cookstove-making, sewing, and briquette making.
In May we also launched our Cookstove Subsidy Program - thanks to those of you who attended our 2018 Holiday Party and raised enough money to subsidize over 400 cookstoves! We now have three women's groups participating in the subsidy program and they have already sold over 100 stoves to families that otherwise could not afford them. See above for a peek inside one of three cookstove workshops that the groups have built, and below to see list of customers who have received subsidized stoves! Also, check out how much less firewood a stove consumes compared to the open "3 stone" fire that is used by most families.
In June we began working with a Lilongwe women's sewing group, called The Kachere Tree. With the support of Women Together, these exert seamstresses have now trained five more women in the art of quilting, and together they are producing and selling beautiful quilted baby blankets, cushion covers and bed spreads. Soon they will expand their production line to produce beautiful Women Together Dolls made from local fabrics - stay tuned for opportunities to purchase!
We recruited our first Women Together Global Intern - Lydia Maseko is working hard to transform girls' experience in high school to ensure her students avoid early pregnancy and marriage. Through her Girls Growing Together after school program she is providing education, peer support, mentorship and negotiation with parents and community leaders to keep female students safe and in school.
We will be returning to Malawi in late July. Following the requests of women's groups across the country, we are busy planning learning exchanges to introduce new skills such as baking, raising dairy cows, and water pump maintenance.
So stay tuned, and if you aren't already, follow us on Instagram @womentogetherglobal.