Following the success of our Tiasamale HIV & AIDS project with the 86 people in the Likhubula and Namavu support groups, we are excited to extend it to two more support groups, William and Chikhambi, reaching a further 138 individuals. Therefore, the project has been extended to the Traditional Authorities of Katunga and Kasisi in Chikwawa.
The activities implemented are as follows:
1. Community awareness
DIN Malawi conducts community awareness campaigns which develop understanding and reduce stigma surrounding HIV and AIDS. Further, we lobby for community ownership of project activities and prepare the groundwork for the long term success.
2. Home visits and community consultation
DIN Malawi, and local community members, visit project beneficiaries in their homes in order to track project indicators and participant well-being. We specifically target people who default on their treatment and those with acute illness, ensuring that the most vulnerable populations are reached.
3. Provision of farm inputs
The people living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHA) will be provided with farm inputs for improved food security through 2 support group 1-hectare organic farms. The PLWHA will be provided bags of fertilizer, farming tools, bags of maize seeds, as well as an array of different vegetable seeds. In addition, participants will be trained on organic farming and manure composting in coordination with the livestock program in order to protect the soil and well-being of Malawians.
4. Female tailor training
DIN Malawi is currently training 12 women to be tailors in order to increase income, job stability, and nutrition for individuals afflicted with HIV. The trainees are taught for six month by professional tailors that live in Chikwawa. Those targeted for this program did not have consistent income or a stable job — often averaging only 20,000 kwacha (roughly $27) per month performing small jobs. Our hope is to provide these women with extensive training so they can become a part of a popular industry here in Chikwawa and reduce the health burden associated with HIV.
5. Procurement of bicycles
In 2020, DIN Malawi distributed 20 bicycle to William and Chikhambi support groups. These bicycles are used to assist people in traveling to clinics where they can access free treatment provided by the Malawian government. Bicycles may also be transformed into taxibikes to produce an income generating activity. The bicycle taxi program is an ongoing one that has an important role within the organization, serving many individuals over the years (Nyasatimes Article ).
5. Pass-on livestock program
DIN Malawi established a pass-on programme which benefits those families that are affected by HIV and AIDS. The support groups rear pigs, goats, and chickens. After the livestock reproduce, their young will be distributed to HIV/AIDS affected families who will be the first beneficiaries. They in turn pass livestock to another team of people who will be the second-line beneficiaries. The aim of the livestock production is to empower HIV and AIDS affected households with livestock for economic, nutritional, and social benefits. Most recently, DIN Malawi delivered 20 pigs and 20 goats to its 4 HIV support groups.
Objectives of Tiasamale:
- To promote positive living among people living with HIV and AIDS;
- To increase number of PLWHA participating in social and economic activities by supplying livestock & farm inputs;
- To increase access to quality care and treatment for PLWHA in the area by tackling transport issues;
- To provide psychosocial support by providing group counseling and professional training;
- To strengthen networking and collaboration among key stakeholders for improved monitoring and evaluation at community and district level.