Community transformation in Malawi

. 1 min read

Mercy Chikhosi (in black shirt) regularly visits with the women of Nkhafi village in Malawi. She has an easy rapport with members of the village. “I developed a strong bond and a relationship so I continue visiting, influencing and motivating them to identify their needs and find solutions with local resources,” Chikhosi said. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Story by Kathy L. Gilbert, photos by Mike DuBose
July 20, 2107 | NKHAFI, Malawi (UMNS)

Chikhosi founded her own organization, Wandikweza, to support best practices in health care and develop sustainable communities with a strong emphasis on empowering girls and women.
“I work with these communities in my free time, like weekends and holidays,” she added.
Wandikweza received a $5,000 grant from United Methodist Women at Church of the Resurrection to empower the women of Nkhafi. Each of the 45 women got a $50 loan which they are paying back to use as a revolving fund for the women, Chikhosi explained.
The women bought fertilizer and maize seeds for their cornfield and soya seeds for their soya field and work as a team in the fields.
The women of Nkhafi who are waiting for Chikhosi all wear brightly colored wrappers, the traditional garments women wear tucked around their waists or under their breasts over their skirts or dresses.
When she arrives, they lead Chikhosi across the road to see the one-hectare field of maize and soya. One hectare is about 2.5 acres. 
“We are very powerful women,” said Virginia Biliat. “We had nothing before she (Chikhosi) came but now we have different businesses.”