FOCCAD Brings Health Services Closer to Communities through Outreach Clinics

In the remote Katimbira area of Nkhotakota, accessing health services has long been a challenge for residents. The nearest health center is 8 kilometers away, a distance that many, especially the elderly and Pregnant women ,struggle to cover. Recognizing this critical gap, FOCCAD initiated an outreach clinic to bring essential health services closer to the people, bridging the distance barrier and providing much-needed medical care.

One of the residents deeply affected by this initiative is Beatrice, a 72-year-old woman from a surrounding village. Beatrice, like many others in her community, struggled to access healthcare due to the prohibitive distance to the nearest clinic. The journey was not only lengthy but also fraught with challenges, especially for someone of her age. “It was very difficult for me to travel to the health center,” Beatrice explains. “I often had to make the journey on foot, which took a lot of time and left me exhausted.”

The situation was further complicated by the lack of reliable transportation. Beatrice often had to rely on the goodwill of neighbors for a ride or, when no help was available, endure the arduous walk. Additionally, upon reaching the health center, she frequently encountered another significant obstacle: the unavailability of essential medications. “There were times when I would finally get to the clinic only to be told that the medication I needed was not available,” Beatrice recalls. “It was very discouraging and made me feel hopeless.”

                   Gogo Beatrice receiving medications.

Frustrated and worried about her health, Beatrice felt helpless until she heard about the FOCCAD outreach clinic coming to her area.

With the outreach clinic, FOCCAD brought healthcare directly to Beatrice’s village. On the day of the clinic, Beatrice was able to walk the short distance to the outreach site, where she received the medical attention and treatment  she desperately needed.

 

 

FOCCAD Conducts Successful C3 Model Network Orientation Meeting

 

 

The Foundation for Community and Capacity Development (FOCCAD) recently conducted a C3 model network orientation meeting, aimed at strengthening effective pathways for HIV case finding and management, improving service delivery, care, and support across clinic and community platforms for children, adolescents, and their families, and safeguarding sexual reproductive health rights.

The meeting witnessed participation from all five facilities in Thyolo and Phalombe, as well as nine facilities in Nkhotakota. The collaborative effort has resulted in a significant improvement in understanding and cooperation with Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) and expert clients. This collaboration has proven effective, with most defaulters being successfully traced back to care.

Moreover, the orientation has led to a notable increase in knowledge about sexual and reproductive health (SRH) among adolescent girls and young women (AGYW). Specifically, 70% of AGYW participants reported enhanced understanding of SRH issues.

FOCCAD’s commitment to fostering community health and well-being through such initiatives continues to make a positive impact, as evidenced by the improved collaboration and outcomes reported by the participating facilities.

FOCCAD Supports Flood-Affected Families and Students in Nkhotakota

In the aftermath of the devastating floods that struck Nkhotakota district in February this year, many affected residents continue to face challenges as they recover following the decommissioning of camps that provided them with temporary shelter.

Alefa Davite, one of the affected individuals, voiced the ongoing need for support today in the area of Traditional Authority Katimbira. She expressed her gratitude after receiving assorted items donated by the Foundation for Community and Capacity Developments (FOCCAD). Davite highlighted that the food items provided by FOCCAD would enable her to have three meals a day, significantly easing her struggles.

Linda Mwale, Monitoring and Evaluation manager at FOCCAD, stated that the 18 million kwacha donation was made possible through the support of the Elma Foundation and Hope for a Child. Mwale noted that the assistance was provided in response to the severe impact of the floods, which left many families in dire need.

In addition to supporting families, FOCCAD extended its aid to the educational sector. The organization provided learning materials, including exercise books, instruments, and pens, to 300 learners from Senjere and Katimbira Primary Schools.

These students were also affected by the floods, and the provision of these materials aims to help them continue their education without interruption.

FOCCAD Outreach Clinics: Bridging Healthcare Gaps in Remote Communities.

In the remote village of Chipale in Nkhotakota T/A Mwansambo, located in a hard-to-reach area, accessing healthcare services has long been a daunting challenge for residents. With the nearest health center situated nearly 20 kilometers away, many families faced the arduous task of traveling long distances, often on foot, to seek medical assistance. Monica, a mother of three, knows this struggle all too well.

Recently, when Monica’s youngest daughter fell ill with malaria, she found herself in a desperate situation. With no means of transportation and limited financial resources, she felt helpless as she watched her child suffer. However, amidst this crisis, a beacon of hope emerged in the form of FOCCAD’s Outreach Clinics.

These mobile healthcare units, supported by FOCCAD, bring essential medical services directly to the doorstep of communities like Mwansambo. With over 1000 people benefitting from these clinics, Monica was relieved to find help just a stone’s throw away from her home. The convenience and accessibility of the outreach services proved to be a lifeline for her family during their time of need.

By bringing healthcare closer to communities, FOCCAD is not only addressing the immediate health needs of individuals but also overcoming the significant barriers posed by long distances and limited resources.

Through initiatives like these, FOCCAD is fulfilling its mission of improving the health and well-being of vulnerable populations, ensuring that no one is left behind when it comes to accessing quality healthcare. As Monica’s daughter recovers from malaria, her family is grateful for the timely assistance provided by FOCCAD.

From Struggle to Success with the Youth Employability Scheme

 

In the heart of Nkhwapu T/A Mwadzama, Joseph at the 34 years old, found himself shouldering the weighty responsibility of providing for his family of seven children. However, his path took a transformative turn with the Youth Employability Scheme, a project implemented by FOCCAD in collaboration with Tools for Self Resilience.

Through the project, Joseph seized the opportunity to acquire invaluable skills in carpentry and joinery, setting the stage for a remarkable transformation. With dedication and unwavering determination, he honed his craft, emerging as one of the finest carpenters in his community. From crafting intricate door frames to meticulously designing beds and tables.

“Previously burdened by worries about how to feed my large family, I now find stability and prosperity through this newfound trade,” Joseph expressed with pride. With his newfound skills and entrepreneurial spirit, he embarked on a journey of self-reliance, establishing a thriving furniture-making business that transformed his fortunes.

Today, Joseph’s success shines brightly as he earns a monthly income of over MWK 50,000, a testament to his hard work and dedication. With the financial stability afforded by his flourishing business, he can easily provide for his family’s needs, ensuring a brighter and more prosperous future for generations to come.

Empowering Youth through SRHR Services

Rhoda, a 17-year-old girl from Makuta village in Nkhotakota, embarked on a transformative journey of empowerment when she sought out sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) services at the FOCCAD clinic. Facing the challenges of adolescence and navigating the complexities of sexual health, Rhoda’s decision to seek support marked a significant step towards taking control of her well-being.

At the FOCCAD clinic, Rhoda found a safe and welcoming environment where she could access comprehensive SRHR services tailored to her needs. From information on contraception and family planning to screening for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), Rhoda received vital education and support to make informed decisions about her reproductive health.

With the guidance of healthcare professionals and counselors at the clinic, Rhoda gained knowledge and confidence to prioritize her health and advocate for her rights. Through counseling sessions and she was guided to join one of FOCCAD AGYW peer support groups, where she found solidarity and reassurance, knowing that she was not alone in her journey.

Cultivating Success Through Innovation

Matilda Buwa, a 63-year-old farmer from Kakopa village in T/A Malengachanzi in Nkhotakota, faced a common challenge shared by many smallholder farmers: low crop yields due to the prohibitive cost of commercial fertilizer. However, Matilda’s determination and ingenuity led her to forge a path of success through innovation and resourcefulness, with the support of FOCCAD’s extension services.

Recognizing the need for an alternative to costly fertilizers, Matilda embarked on a locally available resources, she devised a simple yet effective solution: homemade manure which she was trained by FOCCAD . By blending ash, goat droppings, and maize bran with water and allowing it to decompose over three weeks, Matilda created a nutrient-rich fertilizer tailored to her crops’ needs.

The results were nothing short of remarkable. Matilda’s maize and rice fields flourished under the application of her homemade manure, exhibiting vigorous growth, increased productivity, and enhanced resilience to drought.

Instead of purchasing expensive fertilizers, I redirected my limited funds towards essential farming activities and household needs” Said Matilda. This newfound freedom empowered Matilda to invest in additional food, seeds, tools, and farming items, further boosting productivity and self-sufficiency on her farm.

Access to Clean Water Transforms Lives

Mary, a resident of Nyemba village in T/A Mawadzama, faced challenges due to the scarcity of clean water in her community. Like many women in rural areas, she grappled with the daily ordeal of traveling long distances, often up to 5 kilometers, to fetch water from a clean water bore hole to another village.

However, Mary’s story took a hopeful turn with the intervention of FOCCAD through the Spark project. Empowered by the community-driven approach of Spark, the residents of Nyemba village came together to address their pressing need for clean water. Through collaborative efforts and determination, they chose to prioritize the development of a borehole in their village.

For Mary, the inauguration of the borehole marked a profound transformation in her daily life. No longer burdened by the grueling trek to the muddy stream, she could now access safe and clean water just a stone’s throw away from her home. The impact rippled throughout the community, benefiting not only the residents of Nyemba village but also neighboring villages who shares the newfound resource.

     

Picture 2 shows : A stream of muddy water before bore hole where people used to drink water.

With the borehole in operation, Mary’s smile radiates with relief and gratitude. As a mother, she no longer worries about the health and well-being of her family, knowing that they have access to clean water for drinking, cooking, and hygiene. “Moreover, the convenience of the borehole frees up valuable time for me to pursue other activities, contributing to my overall quality of life.” Says Mary.

Rising Above Adversity

In the rural village of Besimen in Dedza T/A Kachere, Malawi, Dayiseni and Sayita faced unexpected challenges as teenage mothers. Forced into early marriages after becoming pregnant, their futures seemed dimmed by societal pressures and parental insistence.

However, hope arrived in the form of a peer leader from the Breaking Barriers project. Advocating for their rights to education and autonomy, the peer leader engaged local leaders and parents, gradually shifting perspectives on forced marriage.

With newfound support, Dayiseni and Sayita were welcomed back into their homes, liberated from the constraints of early matrimony. Joining Adolescent Girls and Young Women (AGYW) groups, facilitated by Breaking Barriers, they found empowerment and belonging.

Engaging in discussions on reproductive health and entrepreneurship, Dayiseni and Sayita seized opportunities for growth. Participating in small businesses and village savings initiatives, they secured financial independence and contributed to their families’ well-being.

Cathy’s Journey of Empowerment.

             

Cathy Born into a family of five in Dedza T/A Kachere, Cathy faced adversities that threatened her future. However, with the intervention of FOCCAD’s Breaking Barriers project and the support of the Kalilang’anga FOCCAD AGYW club, Cathy’s life took a remarkable turn.

Initially, Cathy found herself among the many girls who dropped out of school due to pregnancy, feeling lost and uncertain about her future. But FOCCAD’s initiatives brought a glimmer of hope. Through health talks on reproductive health and STI prevention, Cathy gained crucial knowledge, empowering her to make informed decisions about her well-being.

Moreover, the supportive environment fostered by FOCCAD and the involvement of school governance structures helped address stigma and discrimination, paving the way for Cathy’s educational journey. With the encouragement of peer leaders, Cathy embarked on the challenging path to reclaim her education, re-entering school despite the hurdles of being a young mother.

Today, Cathy’s perseverance has yielded remarkable results. Resuming her studies in STD 7, “I am  driven by the desire to build a better future for myself and my child.”Said Cathy.

Beyond academics, Cathy’s involvement in the club has equipped her with valuable life skills, including financial literacy, through village savings initiatives facilitated by FOCCAD.

Cathy’s journey has not only transformed her life but has also brought pride and joy to her family. Her mother acknowledges the positive impact of FOCCAD’s intervention, recognizing Cathy’s dedication to her education and newfound sense of responsibility.

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