Care Malawi has donated 67 bicycles to community agents in traditional authorities (T/As) Malenga, Chilooko and Kalumo in Ntchisi District to ease their mobility challenges when visiting village savings and loans associations (VSLAs).
The organisation formed the VSLAs to empower families economically instead of sending their children to work in tobacco estates.
In an interview, the organisation’s project coordinator Catherine Nyirenda said they wanted the agents to reach the VSLAs easily.
“We have also provided them with raincoats and reflectors so that they are visible to other road users to avoid accidents,” she said.
Nyirenda reminded the agents that the bicycles belong to the community and they should leave them when they relocate to other places,
In his remarks, Kalumo Area Development Committee chairperson Robert Anderson Kachipapa commended Care Malawi for the donation.
“VSLAs will be strengthened and more people will be encouraged to save money,” he said.
Kachipapa asked the organisation to extend the initiative to the remaining T/As of Chikho, Vuso Jere and Kasakula.
A beneficiary Joel Chimoto said they failed to reach many places due to mobility challenges.
“The situation is worse during the rainy season as most roads are impassable,” he said.
On her part, Ntchisi district community development officer Emily Mazengera said VSLAs help people save money.
“Therefore, the bicycles will play a vital role in ensuring more people save money,” she said.
Ntchisi is one of the districts where children work in tobacco estates.