Alinafe Magodi, 12, is an orphan from Senzani Area in Ntcheu District. Alinafe lost both parents when she was 8 years old. She and her three siblings were left to stay with their grandmother who is very old and cannot look after the children properly. “Our grandmother is very old, she has problems walking and find it very hard to find food for us”, explained Alinafe.
- At least 70% of Group Villages in 28 districts effectively demanding progressive accessibility and acceptability of basic social services, basic services, and good governance.
- At least 70% of Group Villages in 28 districts demanding fair labour practices and markets and consumer protection especially for women, youth, children and people with disabilities .
- 851 out of 1,962 Community Rights Committees (CRCs) (43%) in 16 districts and 45 out of 57 RLCs (78%) continued to carry out community sensitisation campaigns on good governance, the right to development and how to demand realisation of the same from appropriate duty bearers
Alinafe narrated an ordeal when the chief of their village deprived them the right to food and how the Community Based Organization intervened and helped them through the Democracy Consolidation Programme (DCP).
Being vulnerable children, Alinafe and her siblings were registered to benefit from the fertilizer subsidy which is an initiative of the Malawi Government. The family received coupons to enable them buy subsidized fertilizer. Unfortunately the chief of the area took the coupons away from these innocent children with the aim of selling it to well to do people. When the children realized that this would mean them not harvesting enough maize, they reported the incident to a local organization called Youth Net and Counselling (YONECO) which has a Community Rights Committee (CRC). Under the DCP, YONECO intervened and managed to get the coupons back and gave them to the children who also managed to buy fertilizer and had a reasonably good harvest, comparing to what they could have got without applying fertilizer.
“Even though we still did not get enough to take us through the year, however, we managed to get 6 bags of maize which we could not have had if we did not use fertilizer, I am so thankful to the women who intervened and rescued us” she said.
This is one of the many interventions which the DCP is doing in all the 28 districts of the country. For democracy to thrive, citizens must be aware of their democratic rights and responsibilities and how to exercise them. Consequently, the Government of Malawi is working with its national and international partners on the process of ensuring that the citizenry plays its rightful role in the promotion of good governance and respect for human rights. This entails building an open society governed by democratic principles and institutions which encourage effective participation of individuals, groups and communities in the political, economic and social human development of the country.
A member of the CRCs, Ms. Charity Katete explained more on the work that these committees are doing in the communities. “Our duty is to fight for the rights of the underprivileged ones, we make sure that orphans, people living with HIV/AIDS as well as the physically challenged ones are protected and assisted accordingly” said Charity.
UNDP supports these efforts through, among others, the Democracy Consolidation Programme (DCP). Under this Programme, UNDP mobilised resources, managed a basket funds and provided technical support. Main development partner was provided by the Kingdom of Norway which provided round 6, 3 Million USD. To date, at least 70% of Group Villages in 28 districts of the country are effectively demanding progressive accessibility and acceptability of basic social services, basic services, and good governance. They are also able to demand fair labour practices and markets and consumer protection.