Global Concerns Trust
'Tools and Training for Livelihood in Malawi', a project run by The Global Concerns Trust and funded by the Scottish Government, provides adults with disabilities living in rural areas with vocational training, tools and the support needed to start businesses and become financially independent. Our partners MACOHA and KODO run 6 - 12 month vocational training courses in carpentry, tailoring and cane furniture making, in Nkhotakota, Salima and Ntcheu districts. Trainees also undergo business training, AIDS prevention, gender awareness, reproductive health and organic manure production training. Once they graduate they are provided with carpentry/cane furniture tools or a sewing machine, some materials, a solar panel and post training support to help them address any issues they might have in the early stages of setting up business. The tools and sewing machines given to trainees are donated in the UK and refurbished by volunteers in the UK, many of whom have learning disabilities or mental health problems. In addition to the vocational training we have been working with our partners MACOHA to run disability mainstream training for MaSP members, to help them design and implement their projects to be more inclusive. Over 120 poeple from 80 organisations in Malawi attended the first part of our disability mainstream training. Every organisation set themselves targets and we look forward to seeing their progress in achieving them at the follow up training later this year.
Over 400 adults with disabilities have undergone training and received start up tools through this program. The impact upon graduate trainees has been transformative, with 97% having succeeded in setting up new businesses. We have recorded an average increase of income for trainees of 308%. In real terms this translates to a substantial improvement of living standards for trainees and their families; being able to afford better food, household goods, livestock, better housing and land rental. Graduates have shown that their business are expanding with 56% employing workers, many able to invest in secondary businesses and 80% saving money with village savings groups. As significant as the increase in income to graduates, is the increase in their confidence, independence and ability to plan for the future.