New Opportunities for Local Involvement
Lilongwe, Malawi … During the recent introductory ceremony held on the location of the new Action for Progress distribution hub construction site, Richard Stephens, a founding member of the Malawi Project was honored with the opportunity to symbolically place one of the foundation blocks in the north wall of the new center west of Lilongwe. This site will be the central location for incoming supplies from donor nations, as well as from various supporting organizations. The building, with an overall size of 137 feet by 75 feet, and with a height of 20-feet up to the steel support beams for the roof. This building will house agricultural, educational and medical supplies until arrangements can be made to distribute this ad nation-wide. Additional volunteer opportunities will be available for local groups to assist in the humanitarian opportunities being made available through Action for Progress.
In 2017-18 the Malawi Project joined with the newly formed Action for Progress to fulfill a long-sought desire for Malawians to handle management and supply distribution on the local level. Sharing that same desire, the Malawians created an independent board of directors, and formed this not-for-profit, Malawi managed organization. Other groups are watching closely to see if this concept works better than the old system. In far too many cases the old systems have not proven completely successful when control, supervision, and ownership is administrated through outside groups.
This idea is a definite break with long-held views that outside groups and international organizations can handle aid programs better than local organizations. Both the Malawi Project, and Action for Progress are committed to the idea that local, independent groups can do a better job handling aid assistance.
Looking on as the block is being put in place is Arnold Chiwale, owner and contractor for Diamond Construction, and Chester Kabinda-Mbewe, Chairman of the Board of Directors for Action for Progress. Placing the block in place is Richard Stephens of the Malawi Project.