Tovwirane, established 22 years ago is an indigenous NGO based at Mzimba Boma, working in Mzimba District including Mzuzu City. Over the years, Tovwirane has built a lot of experience in working with the communities and implementing interventions in rural areas in close collaboration with the indigenous community members themselves as the primary beneficiaries.
Some projects have specifically targeted the children, youths, adolescents and women. Tovwirane’s strategies are centered at empowering the local communities and sustainable impact. Previously, Tovwirane’s interventions were focused at reducing HIV infection and cushioning the impacts of HIV and AIDS on the population of Mzimba district including Mzuzu City. Currently Tovwirane is expanding its programmes and coverage to the whole Northern region while undertaking interventions in environment, health, education, livelihoods, women empowerment and child rights.
Withing Women Empowered for Leadership, these are their main activities:
- Four district executive committee briefing meetings
In December 2016 and January 2017 Tovwirane conducted briefing meetings on the WE4L programme with district executive committee members for Mzimba (Mbelwa council & Mzuzu city), Nkhatabay and Rumphi districts reaching out to 156 members of which 122 were male and 34 were female.
Participants presented issues that women face in trying to attain leadership positions in politics and public administration. All councils made commitments to work with the organisation in implementing and monitoring of the activities to ensure that more women are elected and appointed. The commitment of Nkhatabay was made through a memorandum of understanding which was signed by Tovwirane and the council.
- Four dialogue forums with political parties
In March and April 2017, Tovwirane conducted one-day orientation meetings on WE4L targeting major political parties: Peoples, Democratic Progressive, United Democratic Front, Alliance for Democracy and Malawi Congress. These meetings were held at Mzimba Boma, Luwerezi CDSS, Mzuzu city (Mzuzu Youth Centre) and Nkhatabay council. Among the participants were also District Malawi Electoral Officers, NICE and council representatives. The meetings were attended by 119 people: 64 male and 55 female. An orientation meeting in Nkhatabay led to the formation of an internal committee on women empowerment which comprises of ten members from all the five targeted political parties.
- Orientation meetings with faith and traditional leaders
From January to April 2017 Tovwirane conducted 30 orientation meetings with traditional and religious leaders and Area Development Committee members in Mzimba, Nkhatabay and Rumphi reaching out to 11, 10 and 9 traditional authorities respectively. In Mzimba 379 people attended out of which 72 were women, in Rumphi 356 people attended out of which 56 were women and in Nkhatabay 336 people attended out of which 74 were women. These orientation meetings aimed at briefing leaders on the WE4L programme and they emphasized on their role in the programme so that in 2019 more women are voted into power as councilors.
Traditional Authority Zilakoma of Nkhatabay district making his contribution during the orientation meeting.
- Locating aspiring women leaders through political parties
In March Tovwirane started identifying aspiring women leader in all the targeted districts. Political parties are expected to locate at least 2 aspirant women leaders per district.
- Orientation for community based educators
In February 2017, 94 community based educators were introduced to the WE4L programme at Nkhamenya lodge in Kasungu district. During the two days, CBEs were instructed on their role which is to raise awareness on women’s leadership in communities. The meeting also gave the CBEs a platform to share experiences on the issues which are affecting women’s empowerment and how they can be addressed.
In the media: