The Community Savings and Investment Promotion (Comsip) has given out a grant worth K58 million to help sharpen business skills among members of the Social Cash Transfer Programme in Dedza and Nkhata Bay.
The money has been given in form of training grants to facilitate the procurement of training materials to empower the beneficiaries, build their financial literacy, improve business management, and environment and social safeguards.
Comsip provides capacity building and investment support. The Social Cash Transfer Programme is supported by the World Bank.
Comsip has since handed over part of the grant to officials in Dedza and khata Bay.
About 9,000 Social Cash Transfer beneficiaries in 18 villages are expected to undergo the trainings which will be facilitated by district community development officers.
The programme will run to 2019. But the issue that needs to be addressed is what happens to the beneficiaries beyond the life of the project.
“That is why it is important to inform beneficiaries that they are expected to graduate,” Comsip Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, Harold Dunga said.
Dunga said the organisation expects that the same impact that the Comsip intervention had on the Public Works Programme beneficiaries would also manifest on the social cash transfer beneficiaries.
Dunga added that by subjecting the social cash transfer beneficiaries to capacity building, Comsip expects them to change their way of thinking.
“Instead of the beneficiaries looking to government and development partners to support them forever, the training will challenge them to move away from dependent to independent behaviour.
“In addition, we expect the investment support offered by Comsip to help beneficiaries set up viable income-generating activities and, therefore, a continuous source of income,” he said.
Senior Group Village Hea Muganga in Nkhata Bay, who received the grant on behalf of the Kuwirwi Comsip cluster thanked Comsip for the support, saying it will empower the community to set up viable income generating activities.
Prince Kaunda from the Nkhata Bay District Community Development office advised the beneficiaries to use the grants prudently.