Friday, September 28, 2007

Jeanette Batiste in Malawi for ASAP

We are real excited here at ASAP because Jeanette Batiste will be in Southern Malawi during the month of October to do the groundwork for ASAP’s new Malawi program. Jeanette was a Peace Corps volunteer in Malawi and speaks Chichewa, the local language. She has recently acquired her MSc Environment and Development at the London School of Economics and is now employed at EDGEWOOD HOLDINGS LLC based in Vermont.

Jeanette will be gathering the statistics and local information we will use prepare and conduct a more successful Poverty Alleviation pilot project in Malawi. The Shire Valley, south of Blantyre in Southern Malawi will be the initial target area. This is one of the poorest areas in Malawi. ASAP has been invited by the government to establish a program in Malawi and we expect the it to be underway by early to mid 2008.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Labor Day is celebrated with a New Project Launch

ASAP Africa and CARE Zimbabwe launched a new Kufusa Mari (KM) program partnership in the rural district of Mutasa today. The new five year project will help over 17,800 people improve and diversify their income as well as to mobilize savings and manage internal lending activities.

According to Regai Tsunga, ASAP’s Zimbabwe Country Director “ We had a wonderful KM launch at Sadziwa in Mutasa today.

The Deputy Minister for Women's Affairs, Gender and Community Development, Mrs. Damasani, gave a perfect address with full of praises for ASAP. She is a great motivator. She led women into song and dance and encouraged everyone to work hard. She said she wished KM could spread to her native Matebeleland. I90 clients graduated and were awarded with certificates and T shirts. The function was also very well attended by locals and government officials led by the DA for Mutasa Mr. Maronge. There was also entertainment galore with music, dance, drama and poetry.

Mr. Goran Engstrand, the Swedish Ambassador to Zimbabwe, and Steve Vaughan, Country Director CARE were present and also expressed profound satisfaction with our work. They encouraged locals to form KM groups and benefit from the project. The Mutasa Council Chairman, Mr. Gowa welcomed ASAP to his District and hoped that the project would spread quickly to all wards in Mutasa. Both SIDA and CARE remarked that this function was bigger and better than last year's and thanked ASAP for a job well done. All said and done, we are officially in Mutasa with Government and Local Authority blessings. Thanks to Joseph Miti, (ASAP’s KM Project Manager) and all KM staff, ably supported by Admin, for a job well done.”

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Catholic Releif Services Partners with ASAP Africa to help Children affected by HIV/AIDS

42,000 children will benefit from the new Out of School Adolescents Support Project. ASAP Africa has partnered with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and four other consortium partners on a new project to identify and address the needs of out of school adolescents in Zimbabwe affected by HIV/AIDS. The OSA-SP project will work to improve the economic, food security, health and psychosocial well being of 42,000 out-of-school children in Zimbabwe. Currently, more than 60% of the targeted adolescents have lost one or both parents to HIV and AIDS. Many youth are dropping out of school due to the economic hardships. Without parental guidance, these children lack understanding of HIV and AIDS, sexuality and need relevant vocational skills that will enable each one to earn a basic living.