Mphunzi Primary School learners from TA Masumbankhunda in Lilongwe benefit from citizen Voice platform (Bwalo)

Mphunzi Bwalo, voice of the community bears fruits in TA MasumbaNkhunda, Lilongwe district.

Communities around Mphunzi Primary School in Lilongwe have commended Member of Parliament for the good gesture he has shown by donating desks and chairs, as promised during Bwalo interface meeting, at Mphunzi Primary school.

In 2020, Parent And Child Health Initiative (PACHI) implemented a social accountability project which established Social accountability platforms called Bwalo (Citizen Voice forum), aimed at engaging the community to demand for quality health and nutrition services using the citizen voice.

GVH Mphunzi has all the reason to smile due to benefits from this project; Bwalo organized meetings where they could discuss issues affecting their livelihoods; by exploring challenges, contributing factors and identify strategies related to the community, for service providers and duty bearers to be held accountable. Responses were both from community and district level structures through interface meetings.

Mphunzi Bwalo identified a number of issues which included shortage of desks and inadequate space at Mphunzi Primary School. Bwalo called for an interface meeting where Member of Parliament for the area Honourable Peter Dimba was present. Responding to the issues the MP committed to supply additional desks, construct one additional block and one school teachers’ house.

Two months later, the MP responded to some of the community concerns with a donation of 50 desks and plastic chairs. In his remarks during the handover of the items the MP said “The citizen voice forum reached out to me on issues affecting communities for assistance, one of the issues was about shortage of desks at the school and chairs at Mphunzi VDC. Our children deserve a better learning environment hence this contribution which is timely.”

The MP handing over the items

The chairperson for  Mphunzi Bwalo Kenneth Banda had this to say “Am thankful to PACHI for the Bwalo La Nzika platforms, we have now seen positive changes through the intervention, as now we are able to demand for services by reaching out to responsible duty bearers or service providers for action.”

PACHI implemented the 12-month Social Accountability for Nutrition and Health project in Lilongwe, Mangochi and Dowa with funding from UNICEF in partnership with World Relief Malawi and other nutrition coordinating structures both at districts and community level.