Beneficiaries of the Social Cash Transfer Programme (SCTP) in Balaka district have been urged by the Group Village Head (GVH) to use the money received through the program to prioritise their children’s education.
During a 5-day meeting where SCTP beneficiaries were being re-clustered, community support committees were following the entry of new beneficiaries into the program. The Group Village Head Mpulula said: “We are all aware that part of the money we receive from SCTP should go towards assisting our school going children. This money has the possibility of transforming our households when invested, as well as helping us in paying for school for our children.”
“A widow who managed to pay for her child’s school fees and they have now been selected into the Malawi University of Science and Technology. This is what we want to see from the SCTP project. Ensuring our children are educated will help to uplift their households”, said Mpulula.
The Area Development Committee Chair (ADC) Zione Phiri urged the SCTP households to always invest well as they will not be on SCTP program forever. “Time will come when you graduate from this programme. You need to prepare yourselves for this time, and one way is by making sure that part of the money is invested well,” she added.
Commenting on the re-clustering and selection of the community social support committee, Balaka Social Welfare Officer Mphatso Chisepa said the program has registered new beneficiaries, hence the need to re-cluster so that the beneficiaries have new places for payment. She said: “some of the beneficiaries are new, there was need to re-cluster them again. During this process, they also choose the most convenient places for the cluster when receiving their dues.
With support from Irish Aid, Balaka started implementing the Social Cash Transfer Programme (SCTP) in 2013 targeting ultra-poor households. Eight years down the line, the programme has graduated 7,992 beneficiaries, and currently has taken on board 10,070 beneficiaries, a 25 percent increase from the last cycle, a statistic many have commended.
Report by: Mary Makhiringa-MANA/MUM