Monday, March 30, 2009

CORDAID official visits ASAP projects in Malawi...pledges financial support

“What is crucial in your programs is that the poor themselves harness their own capabilities to become the real actors and agents in development, shaping all development processes and projects affecting them”. This comment came from Mark Rietveld, CORDAID´s Program Officer responsible for Entrepreneurship Sector, after spending the day hosted by the ASAP Malawi team on March 26. Mark visited ASAP in Malawi to get a sense of what was happening on the ground and establish a long-term relationship. His visit included a meeting with management staff at the ASAP Malawi Offices and field visits to the project sites.

The visit gave Mark an opportunity to hear and see for himself what ASAP had achieved within three months with financial support from CORDAID.
After the meeting with management it was time to match office reports with what had been done at community level. In this picture Mark listens to presentations from local leaders at Jailosi village.Here he was briefed by community leaders and Village Savings and Lending group leaders. The local leaders commended ASAP for changing the mindset of community members and giving them skills and knowledge to be able to find solutions to their economic problems using the locally available resources.

They also expressed their desire for ASAP to increase the number of field staff so that the program can service more villages within the community in view of the high demand for ASAP services.
In this picture Mark is welcomed at Chazunzika village by dancing VS&L group members.
Pictured here are jubilant VS&L group members dancing after explaining and showing the visitor how they mobilize savings and lend the money among themselves as Mark looks on.

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