Beneficiaries of the Social Cash Transfer Programme in Salima have hailed the initiative for transforming their lives.
One of the beneficiaries, Emelida Wanki, a widow from Katangalala 2 Village, Traditional Authority Kalonga in the district, said her family’s livelihood has changed since she joined the programme.
She said: “I was lucky to have been one of the beneficiaries of the programme because I come from a poor background where we struggled even to find food for that day.
“But since I joined the programme, I started some small-scale businesses which have helped me to live a better life now.”
Wanki, who has 11 children, said though her life was not better off before her husband died in 2014, life became even more difficult after his death.
“The responsibility was too much for me as the only parent to the children. We could spend days without food and that brought serious problems, including malnutrition,” she said.
Wanki, who gets K16 000 per month, says she is now able to feed her family three times a day and use some of the money to boost her tomato business.
Another beneficiary, Florida Matiyasi of Ndiwo Village in the same area, concurred with Wanki, saying the programme is helping to reduce poverty among ultra-poor households.
She said her eight children used to share a mat and one blanket before she was enrolled in the programme. Matiyasi said she also faced challenges sending her children to school.
“After I joined the programme, I started sending my children to school and bought school bags for them. I invested some in my beer brewing business,” she said.
Three years since she joined the programme, Matiyasi owns 18 chickens, two pigs and four goats.
In a separate interview, Salima social welfare officer Thumbiko Mbale said the programme has brought about significant change.
Salima has 8 430 households that benefit from the programme .In Salima it is funded by the German Government through KfW.