I am a retired Police Chief Inspector. Prior to retiring in 2008 I travelled to Malawi to liaise with my Malawi Police Service colleagues (organised by World Exchange, Edinburgh based charity). I was introduced to the Victim Support Unit scheme run by the Community Policing Dept. This is a scheme which offers refuge, support, guidance and counselling to all victims who appear at the facility. It predominantly aims at women and children, addressing issues such as Child Abuse (sexual, physical, mental), Abandonment, Domestic violence, Property Grabbing, Aids Awareness and Human Rights amongst others. It is facilitated by Police Officers but staffed by trained counsellors and elected members of the community. It is an extremely effective initiative at the 'coal face' of the local community providing sanctuary and assistance. Its impact is felt on the entire community. On returning to this country I drew up an Action Plan, part of which was to gain support for a return visit of two MPS members, hosted by my home Force. This was duly done. As part of this programme they visited the Scottish Police College and this was followed by the College undertaking a Community Policing Training Programme with them. They took away with them several ideas which they felt could be utilised in their home country. We also managed to secure funding for the building of a VSU in the Chikwawa Region. This was completed in 2010 and has made a major impact in the area. This relationship has continued with good communication ongoing and various positive actions being completed. In 2021 a sponsored cycle was completed resulting in money being raised to build another VSU in the southern area of Lirangwe. This building has commenced but is currently (24.8.22) on hold due to both local, and national, events. The money is securely banked and waiting for works to continue.
Contact has also been made with the organisation IJM (International Justice Mission) who's primary objective is that of tackling global people trafficking and we are assisting them in their efforts to establish a 'foot hold' in the Sub Sahara Region. This is an exciting development and good progress is being made.
This has led to 14 years of positive communications and relationship which, otherwise, would not have existed. There have been tangible benefits like the purchasing of cycles and other items, along with the building of a complete VSU, with another one on the way. The impact such buildings can have on the surrounding population should not be underestimated, whilst also giving the people connection with others from around the world. The relationship with IJM is an exciting prospect with real potential which could have a significant impact on the area.
Partner organisation in Malawi
Malawi Police Service