Dzaleka camp was established in 1994 by the UNHCR Agency in response to a huge wave of displaced people fleeing genocide, wars and violence in African countries including Rwanda, DRC, Burundi, Ethiopia and Somalia.
This camp is currently home to around 22,000 refugees. The camp is currently struggling with feeding the population as the majority of UNHCR money is currently going towards supporting victims of the Syrian refugee crisis. This highlights the need to support sustainable self-help opportunities for refugees in Dzaleka, in particular poor women who have no means of generating an income to support their family.
Our project with AFECOPAD aims to break the cycle of poverty for thirty poor women, by providing each of them two pigs (male + female), for one year. The beneficiaries are widows and those living with HIV/AIDS who often have around 8 children to support. The idea came from the beneficiaries themselves, who recognised pig farming as a very profitable trade within the camp, which could quickly change their living conditions for the better.
The project includes training on pig breeding and rearing, the installation of piggeries, the purchase and distribution of piglets, and monitoring and support for the women involved.
The women are supposed to increase their income by 6 fold from less than 5,000 Malawian Kwacha (£4.70) to 30,000 MWK (£28.40) a month. The current beneficiaries will each be asked to give piglets back to the organisation, which means that at the end of a year another batch of women will be able to join the project. The impact of being self-employed will give them in addition access to healthcare and raise their self-esteem and general well-being within the community.
A Day in the Life of a Beneficiary
Yerusi Musa is 35 year-old widow originally from the Republic Democratic of Congo. She is a mother of nine children. Due to armed conflict she fled her home when her husband was killed in 2009. She arrived in Dzaleka in 2010, but Yerusi faces economic difficulties in Dzaleka camp. She needs to start a new life with her orphan children in this camp, but lacks an opportunity to improve her situation. Only five of Yerusi’s children are attending primary school whilst the others are at home doing household’s tasks as local customary norms mean that some of the children have to stay at home to help their mother.
Before she left her country, Yerusi was cultivating tomatoes, cassava and potatoes as well as she were a livestock breeder, but she is unable to acquire land and seeds at her new home in Dzaleka.
Six months ago, Yerusi became a seller of vegetables at the local market, although the pay is so low it is insufficient to care for her whole family.
According to Yerusi, obtaining pigs is the first step towards economic independence and the start of a new life in the camp. As a widow with many children to care for, this project really has the potential to improve living conditions for her family.
The project is expected to cost £806 for a period of one year.