Special Reports

From hand-outs to sustainability

Iwan Pienaar

The Kachere Development Programme is the social development arm of the Anglican Diocese of Eastern Zambia founded by the Reverend Dennis Milanzi.

The Kachere programme aims to empower women so that they do not rely on donations to feed their families. (Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters?

Runner-up

Civil Society Award

Kachere Development Programme

Iwan Pienaar

Kachere started as the St Paul's Anglican Children Project in 2008. It was recently rebranded and aims to demonstrate the role the church and faith-based organisations can play in addressing the millennium development goals at grass-roots level.

Kachere implements integrated health and development programmes among rural communities in the eastern province of Zambia, focusing on food security, climate change, gender and governance, women's empowerment, HIV/Aids and sustainable livelihoods.

It has seven full-time staff members, four community facilitators and more than 4 000 direct beneficiaries of its programmes. In engaging with the poorest people in communities Kachere uses a community approach based on rights. One of the things it has been recognised for is its poverty eradication strategies, initiated among women in the area who are denied opportunities to improve their economic status because men still dictate what they can do.

Kachere has enabled communities to break through the barrier by implementing a self-help approach designed to empower women socially, economically and politically.

This concept is being promoted among 32 groups comprising at least 640 women who support more than 1 100 children. The women in these groups are shown how to engage with their civic leaders and demand their constitutional rights in terms of rural development, better health services and improved sexual reproductive health rights.

This engagement platform provides them with an opportunity to change the traditional situation in which they would have to rely on receiving hand-outs to sustain their families.

The self-help groups are implemented in partnership with the local chiefs and have enabled the women to break the culture of dependence on men for their family needs.

Kachere has also changed the lives of vulnerable people in communities through the provision of water and sanitation, eliciting behaviour change in former sex workers and the creation of sustainable livelihoods for people living with HIV/Aids.

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