News

Your help will send Tesha Simwera and 29 other girls to school

  • Written by Sebastian

Education is the key to a socio-economic development. Access to quality education however remains a far-fetched dream for most girls in Rumphi. In most Malawian areas, especially in Rumphi district, girls drop out of school because their respective families fail to pay school fees and meet the costs of their education. Girls from financially crippled families are becoming easy targets for arranged early marriages as their families fail to shoulder the burden of paying school fees and other costs.
Solution

To improve the future chances of girls from poor families LICO wants to support the neediest secondary school going girls with school fees, notebooks and school uniform every year. Additionally they will also be supported with sanitary pads and provided with vocational skills to girls and introduce an entrepreneurship training. Furthermore LICO wants to provide start-up capital so that girls can be able to economically stand on their own, but to reach this goal and to gain all financial needs LICO and the girls depend on your help.

More information and donation options you may find here or by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

By supporting Tesha and other 29 girls to complete their education, girls will be able to break out of the vicious cycle that entraps unskilled and resource-poor girls. At-risk girls will become emancipated women when given the chance to be well-educated, and develop into citizens who are gainfully employed and self-sufficient.

picture of Tesha Simwera

Chief urges parents to send girls back to school

  • Written by Sebastian

Paramount Chief Chikulamayembe of Rumphi has called on parents and members of the community in the district to send girls to school and ensure adequate resources are allocated towards girl child education. The chief said efforts to promote girl child education should start with the parents by among others ensuring that girls are sent to school and financially supported. Furthermore he said the community has a responsibility of ensuring that girls are protected from early marriages, sexual abuse and harassments, therefor he has facilitated the formation of community by laws in order to arrest cases of early marriages.

''Over 300 village headmen under my jurisdiction have formulated community by-laws that aim to protect our girls from getting married in their teen ages'', Chikulamayembe said.

The paramount chief however, noted that poverty is derailing efforts to completely root out cases of early marriages as some parents marry off their girls in order to benefit from dowry. In patriarchal communities like Rumphi, dowry is paid in form of huge sums of money or cattle.

Concurring, Life Concern Organisation (LICO) Executive Director Peter Gondwe said his organisation has since partnered with the chiefs in fighting cases of early marriages and currently supports 52 girls with school fees and other learning materials. These are the girls who have been withdrawn from arranged early marriages.

Gondwe however chided other NGOs who are withdrawing girls from arranged early marriages and later failing to support them with school fees and other basic needs: ''We need to have a holistic approach to this. It’s not proper just to withdraw the girls from the arranged marriages and later failing to support them with their education and other basic needs.''

written by E. Nyirendaedited by S. Koecke

LICO empowers rural communities

  • Written by Sebastian

Life Concern Organisation (LICO) is implementing a community empowerment programme which provides goats and pigs to study circle groups in the district. So far six study circle groups have benefitted through this initiative in the area of Traditional Authority Mwahenga and Mwankhunikira.

Study circle groups pull together people within communities with a sole purpose of discussing ways of fighting the further spread of HIV and AIDS and maternal health. In Rumphi district, Life Concern Organisation has established over 70 study circle groups who are championing issues of safe motherhood, sexual reproduction health and prevention of mother to child transmission services. Members of study circle groups have also been helpful in promoting HIV couple testing, formulation of community by-laws on maternal and safe motherhood as well as early marriages. An ideal study circle group comprises about 10 members.

2016 04 21 study circles 13 v1Handing over of two pigs to one of the study circles by Frank Phiri, Project Officer (left)

LICO Monitoring and Evaluation officer Nelson Kondowe says the study circle group has been instrumental in the implementation of various development projects. It is community driven and thus ensures sustainability of various development initiatives. He says this is why LICO thought it wise to financial equip them with livestock which will be under a pass on programme so that they are financially independent. Besides the livestock, LICO is also supporting couples living positively with soya, beans and vegetable seeds so that they are able to cultivate their own gardens as one way of ensuring availability of nutritious foods at household level.

by Elias Nyirenda

LICO aids Rumphi schools with books

  • Written by Sebastian

Education is key to the socio-economic development of every country. Achieving quality education however remains a far- fetched dream for most countries especially in the Sub-Saharan region. Malawi, just like other neighboring countries in the region is struggling to achieve quality education for all.

Some of the factors affecting the delivery of quality education in Malawi are inadequate well trained and qualified teachers, inadequate teaching and learning materials and shortage of classrooms and teachers houses. The situation is very critical especially in rural areas where in certain schools we have three teachers teaching in eight classes from standards one to eight.

2016 04 21 school aid 01 1

In a quest to contribute towards promotion of quality education in rural schools in Malawi, Life Concern Organisation (LICO), a nongovernmental organisation based is support local schools with teaching and learning books, library furniture and bursary schemes for orphaned and disadvantage children. Currently LICO, with support from School Aid International, a UK based international organisation, has equipped 14 schools in Rumphi district with books and library furniture. The schools range from preschool, primary and secondary benefits an average of 300 learning and teaching books.

Nelson Kondowe, Monitoring and Evaluation officer for LICO says education is one of the key thematic areas for the organization development activities. Further he says the teaching and learning books aim to benefit many students in Rumphi district as most schools are failing to purchase these books with their meager resources and currently the organisation is waiting for another consignment of books from school aid international which will benefit a total of 17 more schools in the district.

Head teacher at Bolero primary school Wanangwa Mughandira thanked LICO for the books which he said is instilling a reading culture among learners. Mughandira also said, that the donation had come at an opportune time especially now that the Ministry of Education is failing to provide enough teaching and learning materials due to inadequate funding.

By Elias Nyirenda

Distribution of relief items and school uniforms

  • Written by Sebastian

In January this year Rumphi boma was hit by floods along the Mawerewere river and many inhabitants had been affected. Through the ELMA FOUNDATION LICO was able to support over 100 households and 200 children with a package of relief items which included a bag of maize flour, cooking oil, blanket, mosquito net, laundry and bathing soap, kitchen salt and second hand cloths for children in April. The second phase of the distribution went on well in May. LICO further thanks Rumphi District Council through Disaster Risk Management and Social Welfare departments for the good working relationship leading to a successful distribution of relief items.

2016-04-16 Distribution to flood victims 402016-05-14 Distribution to flood victims 19P1140569

Within the Relief Aid Project 60 particularly vulnerable children from 6 schools could also be supported with new school uniforms in May. For the pupils in the rural area around Mzokoto in the Rumphi District LICO got support for 55 school uniforms from the EGMONT TRUST. Which had been delivered to 11 schools on Wednesday this week.

2016-05-26 school uniforms 062016-06-08 school uniforms 142016-06-08 school uniforms 16

Every Vote Counts

  • Written by Sebastian

EFC logoOr actually Every Footstep Counts, which is a film competition originated by the Positive Action for Children Fund (PACF) in association with MTV/Staying Alive Foundation, the International AIDS Society and Keep a Child Alive to show the the successes small NGOs are making worldwide in the issue of HIV prevention and most notably PMTCT.

Two winners will be awarded an unrestricted grant of $10,000 and will be invited to attend the International AIDS Conference in Durban on 18-22nd July, both getting the chance to showcase their work and be recognised for their achievements on an international platform. (https://everyfootstepcounts.com/)

In this year LICO entered the contest with a video about our work in Male involvement in PMTCT in the Rumphi District and we would really appreciated if you vote for our video. With a lot of friends, a bit luck and Gods blessing we may win the competition, so that we are able show in Durban what is possible even in a poor country like Malawi, when a local NGO works together with local people to support local people.
 

Click here and vote for LICO Male involvement in PMTCT

 

Shot in the arm!

  • Written by Sebastian

LICO aids Rumphi District Hospital.

Life Concern Organisation has come to the rescue of Rumphi district hospital’s cervical cancer department by equipping it with a Cryotherapy machine for treating cervical cancer ailments valued at MK 3,500,000.00. The organisation has also made a donation of drugs worth MK 2,000,000.00.

Speaking during the donation, LICO executive director Peter Gondwe said his organisation felt compelled to help the collapsing health sector in the country. “Currently the health sector is collapsing. This calls for all stakeholders to join hands and work out solutions that will aid our hospitals”, he said. Gondwe said the Cryotherapy machine has been bought with financial support from Southern Africa Aids trust.donation cryotherapy machineDonation of a new Cryotherapy machine by LICODistrict commissioner for Rumphi Nhlane commended LICO for the donation and urged other stakeholders to emulate LICO’s good gesture in coming to the rescue of the ailing health sector in the country. Concurring Rumphi district hospital cervical cancer coordinator Catherine Temani commended Life Concern Organisation for reaching out to the rural masses with cervical cancer screening services. She said cervical cancer is treatable so long there is early diagnosis hence urging women to come to health facilities and be screened for cervical cancer. She said the donation of the machine has come at an opportune time as the hospital’s own Crotherapy machine broke down a year ago and the hospital had to refer patients to Mzuzu central hospital for treatment.

(Mr. Nyirenda, Journalist)

LICO scales up cervical cancer screening

  • Written by Sebastian

Life Concern Organisation (LICO) has stepped up efforts to combat cervical cancer in Rumphi district through provision of cervical cancer screening services targeting women living in rural areas. The organisation has since gone flat out conducting outreach programmes and sensitization campaigns urging women to go for cervical cancer screening.

LICO Executive Director Peter Gondwe says his organisation is also providing community awareness and health education on cervical cancer in order to ensure early diagnosis and treatment of cervical cancer cases.

Currently, the organisation is implementing a one year project on cervical cancer screening targeting over 4000 women in Rumphi district. The project is being implemented in four major health centres of Mhuju, Bolero, Katowo and Mzokoto.cervical cancerA nurse explains cervical cancer and its screening“We are decentralizing cervical cancer screening services from the district hospital to health centres situated in rural areas so that women in these areas are also reached with screening services,” said Gondwe. Further he said his organisation has since bought a Cryotherapy machine for Rumphi district hospital for treating lesions and mild cervical cancer problems. The old machine at the district hospital broke down.

The organisation also sponsored training of medical staff based in the aforementioned health centres so that they are able to conduct cervical cancer screening in their respective duty stations.

And speaking in a separate interview Rumphi district hospital cervical cancer coordinator Catherine Temani commended Life Concern organisation for reaching out to the rural masses with cervical cancer screening services. She said cervical cancer is treatable so long there is early diagnosis hence urging women to come to health facilities and be screened for cervical cancer.

The one year cervical cancer screening project is being funded by Southern Africa Aids trust (SAT) Malawi. Since its inception of the project statistics show that between January and early March 2016 a total of 852 women have been screened for cervical cancer and that 104 were diagnosed with cervical cancer. Treatment has since commenced.

(Mr. Nyirenda, Journalist)

 

LICO engages youths in HIV and AIDS fight

  • Written by Sebastian

Life Concern Organisation has taken HIV and AIDS fight to the youths urging them to refrain from engaging in immoral behaviours that would lead them to contracting HIV, a virus that causes AIDS.

In a country ravaged by poverty and economic malaise, many youths find themselves jobless and with no hope and purpose for their lives. Starved of entertainment and other meaningful activities to embark on, the youths especially those in rural areas indulge in excessive beer drinking.

Life Concern Organisation however, recognizes that fighting HIV and AIDS is critical in wiping out the pandemic in the country, more so when youths are part and parcel on decision making and implementation of various HIV and AIDS programmes. 60% of Malawi’s population compromises of youths. footballSports against HIV and AIDSThrough sporting activities LICO wants to keep youths busy so that they do not indulge themselves in immoral activities such as substance and drug abuse. It is through these sporting activities that the organization also spread messages of abstinence, condom use and HIV testing. In Malawi, sports as a vehicle for communication and outreach has potential to pull youths of all walks together such that it makes it easier for organizations to reach out to them with sexual and reproductive health messages.20160213 netballNetball match in MzokotoThrough the Protect the Goal Campaign, LICO reached out to thousands of youths with HIV AND AIDS messages and services. During tournaments over 2000 youths collected condoms, 284 went for HIV test, 38 registered for voluntary male circumcision, over 50 girls registered for cervical cancer screening. It was seen that during sporting activities youths were very free to seek sexual reproductive services as these services were brought to within their reach and administered by their peers.HIV testingHIV testing during the bonanza

(Mr. Nyirenda, Journalist)

Ministry of Education hails LICO

  • Written by Sebastian

Malawi’s Ministry of Education, Science and Technology has commended Life Concern Organization (LICO) for providing HIV and AIDS services in schools using sporting activities.

District Education Manager for Rumphi Lomick Khamisa said messages of HIV and AIDS needs to trickle down to children in schools who are the bedrock of the future generation. The DEM remarked recently when he handed over prizes for various sports disciplines in a bonanza that was organized by Life Concern Organisation.2016 03 05 happy winnersHappy winners after the presentation of prizesThe Education manager said combating the further spread of HIV and AIDS requires the involving of all stakeholders at all levels. He said sporting activities are therefore critical as a platform where children could get the right messages on how they could prevent themselves from contracting HIV, a virus that causes AIDS.

LICO organized sporting activities involving 14 schools falling under the jurisdiction of T/A Mwankhunikira in Rumphi district. The organization took advantage of these sporting activities such as football and netball matches, high jump, relay race to conduct HIV testing.2016 03 05 bottle raceBottle raceA total of 299 primary school children were tested and 6 found HIV positive. They were referred to relevant health care providers so that they could access life prolonging drugs-ARVs.

(Mr. Nyirenda, Journalist)

Community by-laws on PMTCT

  • Written by Sebastian

Community by-laws on prevention of mother to chiid transmission (PMTCT) bearing fruits in Rumphi.

The idea to formulate community by-laws on prevention of mother to child transmission among communities in Rumphi district was a daunting task. But with commitment from the chiefs, local development structures and a unity of purpose it was done.

Now communities under Paramount Chief Chikulamayembe, Mwankhunikira and Senior Chief Mwahenga have community by-laws. A tool they are using to reduce the risk of pediatric HIV infection among children born from HIV positive mothers. And it is bearing the intended fruits. Since the by-laws have been put in place, there has been an increase uptake and utilization of PMTCT services among pregnant woman and their respective husbands.male involvment 2Young family

Read more: Community by-laws on PMTCT

LICO against early marriages

  • Written by Sebastian

Over 60 school going girls in Rumphi district have been withdrawn from arranged early marriages and re-admitted to school thanks to the intervention by Life Concern Organization (LICO).Girls not Brides the organization uses forums such as these to discuss issues against early marriagesGirls not Brides, LICO uses forums such as these to discuss issues against early marriages

LICO executive director Peter Gondwe said the organization has since committed itself to paying school fees and meeting for the girl’s learning needs. Gondwe said the 60are among the vulnerable girls his organization is supporting through education sponsorship. He said besides provision of school fees and uniform, Life Concern Organization is also providing learning materials to the girls such as pens, notebooks, instruments, lamps for lighting and reading and sanitary pads among others.

Read more: LICO against early marriages

New name

  • Written by Dennis Ringersma

logoOur new logo by Maaike BatistA new name: Life Concern

Life Concern Organisation or LICO is the new name for Life Concern Organisation. The new name marks a new beginning for our Rumphi based Malawian organization. Over the next couple of weeks details will be shared on our new vision and strategy.

Read more: New name

LICO uses sports to fight HIV/AIDS in Rumphi

  • Written by Peter

sport-hivPeter Gondwe (right) presenting the footballs to Mr Mkandawire the PEA on behalf of the partipating schoolsSporting activities are part of the curriculum in Malawi primary and secondary schools and many students participate in the disciplines of their liking whether as a hobby, interest, or as competitions where money and pride are always at stake. Although most sports disciplines do not require literacy, introducing them in primary and secondary schools as vehicles for HIV/AIDS prevention messages is like killing two birds with a single stone.

That is, the messages reach to a myriad of people at one go. Recognizing that sports is an important resource in HIV/AIDS prevention messages, Life Concern Organisation with assistance from GIZ has launched an HIV/AIDS prevention project in Bolero, Rumphi through the introduction of minority sports disciplines in primary and secondary schools in the area. 

Read more: LICO uses sports to fight HIV/AIDS in Rumphi

School girls form teen clubs

  • Written by Peter

teenclubs1Barwe girl’s teen club committee with Rosemarie a GIZ VolunteerIn order to impart sexual reproductive health and HIV/AIDS knowledge messages amongst the adolescents, Life Concern Organization (LICO) through support from GIZ volunteers has facilitated the formation of teen clubs in Bolero – Rumphi.

Girls in primary schools, particularly those in standard 5 to 8, meet in their respective clubs discussing issues affecting the adolescent group. Furthermore, the girls discuss problems they face, behavioural change and HIV prevention.

 

Read more: School girls form teen clubs

Go back to school campaign by LICO

  • Written by Peter

Charcoal selling is illegal in the country yet that is the business Peter Chikweza ventured into after dropping out of school a few years ago. After being orphaned while still in school, a murky atmosphere engulfed this Bolero teenager’s life and the future looked hazy and bleak. Chances of continuing with school were at zero percent.

              backtoschool              Back to school

Read more: Go back to school campaign by LICO

Malawi NGO encourages male involvement in prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission

Written by: Favour Mazinga of Nyasa Times

Life Concern Organisation (LICO) -a local NGO based in Rumphi- has launched a ‘Bring your Wife-PMTCT’ campaign that aim to engage men participation in the access and utilization of  prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) services.

Read more: Malawi NGO encourages male involvement in prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission

Welcome

  • Written by Pieter Willemsen

You are very welcome on Life Concern Organisation's official website. On this website you can learn in depth information on LICO as well as news items from Malawi and beyond.

 

Deforestation is having negative effect on Lake Malawi

Lake MalawiLake MalawiSource: faceofmalawi.com

Lake Malawi will continue silting if communities living along the lake shore districts do not stop cutting down trees carelessly, a local NGO in Nkhatabay has warned. Program Manager for Temwa, a local NGO based in the district, Mr. Tonderai Manoto cited Nkhatabay as one of the district where deforestation activities are rampant.

Read more: Deforestation is having negative effect on Lake Malawi

Britain increases Aid to Malawi

Steve Zimba MalawiSteve Zimba MalawiMZUZU: Despite the souring relations between Malawi and the UK, the former colonial master has increased developmental aid to Malawi to about 90 million pounds this year.

Britain suspended budgetary support to Malawi after the expulsion of high commissioner Fergus Cocraine-Dyte from Lilongwe but says the money will be channeled to projects.

Read more: Britain increases Aid to Malawi

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Contact info

Life Concern Organisation

Reg. NGO No. TR/INC 4822

Opp. St Denis Hall

PO Box 145, Rumphi

T +265 372 083 / +265 888 555 199

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Copyright 2013 Life Concern Organisation (LICO). Website by TOEK, Senseven, Eigendraads Advies.