The CHIEF approach is our wholistic and comprehensive strategy for addressing the complex needs of vulnerable families in Malawi. CHIEF, our acronym for Character, Health, Income, Education, and Food security, captures the five key areas we address in families like Malita’s, pictured here.
Malita’s life has not been easy. Her father died when she was only 8 years old and Malita had to help her family survive by doing small jobs in the community. She dropped out of school in 5th grade and was married by the age of 15.
She bore six children with her husband, Siliva. Together, they struggled to grow enough to eat and sustain their family. Siliva’s excessive drinking did not help matters.
When we first started working with Malita in the CHIEF program, she had many needs. Her children were not attending school, but rather were using their time to earn a little money doing small jobs. The relationship between her and Siliva was strained. There was insufficient food for the family, and there were poor hygiene practices in the household.
We assigned a Christian Outreach and Community Development Facilitator who started working with Malita’s family regularly. He helped the children return to school, connected Malita to our village savings and loans program, encouraged Siliva to stop drinking, trained the family on better agricultural practices, and taught them the importance of practicing better hygiene by building structures like a pit latrine.
Malita has experienced a major shift in her life. “I am now a role model to other young families in my village. Pamoza should continue the CHIEF program because it tackles all aspects of life. I wish this approach could benefit even more families in the district.”