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Archives March 2019

File Photo: A cross section of participants during the monitoring exercise
Misuku Health Workers Commended For Improved Service Delivery

By Norbert Tambalamtuwa Mzembe

Members of Kakoma Area Development Committee (ADC) at Misuku in Chitipa District have acknowledged that the good relationship and coordination between personnel of Misuku Health Center and the surrounding communities has contributed a lot towards desirable health service delivery in the area.

A cross section of participants during the monitoring exercise
A cross section of participants during the monitoring exercise

The committee made this revelation on Monday at Misuku during the monitoring exercise of the health governance project being implemented by the Justice and Peace Desk. The project is being implemented with financial support from Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) under the banner, ‘My Health, My Right.’

According to the Chairperson of Kakomo ADC Winston Silungwe, there is great improvement in budget planning and implementation where currently, women actively participate in the management of the health center resulting into improved service to improved health service delivery.

Silungwe further said this mutual relationship according has also seen a positive change in the use of the ambulance at the facility since it is now readily available on the ground in times of emergencies.

‘‘Lives have been lost in the past to diseases that would have been cured due to delays in reaching the referral hospital in Chitipa because the ambulance meant for Misuku residents was being used in other health facilities. This is now history,’’ said Silungwe.

Concurring with Silungwe, Village Headman Mwandisi III of Misuku says medical personnel at the health center are now committed to their call unlike in the past.

In her remarks, Medical Assistant at Misuku Health Center, Fackeya Zimba commended the kind approach by the communities to jointly work together with health workers which she says is a major cause of improvement.

Another crucial element in the project is the Radio Listening Club structure which is instrumental in amplifying health rights concerns in the area. Chifumo Radio Listening Club is active in the area and was thankful for the knowledge and skills they acquire under the project to contribute towards improved health service delivery.

Taking his turn, Justice and Peace Field Officer for Misuku, Alick Nyozomo Gondwe said the Justice and Peace Desk will not relent in its interventions in the area until access to high quality health service delivery in the area is attained.

John Sibande: A beneficially of VSL and Goat Pass-on Program
VSL groups and Goat Pass on Program; A Tool for Defeating Poverty

By Gracious Chibaka

Life starts at 40, many a man say so, but that is not the case on the ground. Malawians in urban and rural settings are experiencing the harsh realities of life with poverty, a routine word emanating from their mouths.

For many a time they have tried to make a living out of farming but resource constraints was winding them back to square. Hope for a fruitful future, a future that had all man’s basic amenities at disposal was a farfetched reality.

But a 45-year-old man, from Nachoma village in Traditional Authority Mwenewenya, Chitipa District John Sibande, is a different man altogether. His dire poverty is slowly wearing off the very time he started reaping fruits from the Village Saving and Loan (VSL) group.

“I am a member of EDEN Farmers’ Club, a group which is also an affiliate of a VSL group formulated in the area. We are hard workers naturally, but we were handicapped on the part of sourcing funds to finance our farming business.

Thanks to the Development Desk of the Diocese of Karonga officers who taught us the value of group savings. The fruit of this initiative is now a source of family’s happiness and that of fellows in the group. Seeing the benefits, other community members are pressurizing us to join our fruitful endeavor,” explains Sibande while stroking his livestock that he has realized from this enterprise.

The VSL works on very simple formula; each week there is a 100 Kwacha share per person per week and the total volume for the share was 150,000 Kwacha.

“I got K25,000 from the group which I then used to purchase a goat. I also received a goat from the goat pass on programme which resulted into having two goats. Lucky enough these two goats have produced two kids.

After weaning them I will hand over the one I took from the club to my colleague who will also do the same by giving other beneficiaries from our member group” says Sibande.

The livestock pass on program is an added advantage by further trickling down to his farm as articulated by Sibande, “I am happy man as this program will help me collect a considerable amount of manure that can be used in the field instead of digging deep into my pocket to purchase the ever expensive inorganic fertilizer in the process realizing bumper harvest from the use of organic fertilizer”.

Tritance Mtambo: A beneficially of the Vocational Skills Training Program displaying one of her products
Development Desk’s Vocational Skills Programme Gives a New Lease of Life to Women in Chisenga

By Gracious Chibaka

Concurrently stress and depression is building up, family problems weighing her life down, with no end in sight, as her just ended marriage relentlessly reminds her that she is of no value, poverty roaring like a hungry lion with no flesh to devour.

Negative thoughts have engulfed the 30-year-old Trintance Mtambo who does not even want to mention an inch of the many troubles she has sailed through, but sing praises for the timely rescue by the Development Desk.

Mtambo, a lady from Magomero Village in Traditional Authority Mwenewenya, Chitipa District, is one of the many beneficiaries bearing testimony that if an individual is empowered with Vocational skills her life and that of the community is transformed.

“I used to stay in Lilongwe with my husband but with the marriage failure I was forced to come back to the village. From that point, things turned sour. The only hope that I had was him, but here he is shuttering all the future I bestowed in the once lovely better half of mine” with tears rolling down her cheeks, narrates Trintance.

That was before enrolling in the Vocational Skills Training program, a brainchild of the Development Desk (popularly known as CADECOM among the locals) of the Diocese of Karonga.

“I used to stay idle, but thanks to the CADECOM [Development Desk] and the Catholic Church my story is a bitter-sweet story. At first I was reluctant to enroll due to lack of self-esteem. But I shoved out that fear, learnt the trade and here I am making a living out of tailoring” says Mtambo with, face beaming with a lovely smile of hope.

Development Desk, arm of Karonga Diocese, is offering different vocational skills like Bricklaying, Carpentry and Tailoring in the area for community members who did not go far with education such that individuals under the instruction of of experienced trainers.

“People in the village are giving me business nowadays. They come with their pieces of cloth and I sew for them with expertise, to the awe of many. I am making a living on my own a journey that I thought was for men.

If I continue working extra hard I am now assured, I will be able to construct a solid future with all the basic necessities at my disposal,” speaks out Tritance while showcasing one of her fashionable product she has made.

Vocational Skills Training Programme is a component under the Development Desk’s three-year Integrated Rural Development Project which is being implemented with financial support from Misereor Germany.

Health promotion session at Lusubilo
Infant Feeding Program; Touching the Hearts of Orphaned Infants

By Vitumbiko Ngwira

Through the feeding program Lusubilo Orphan Care supports many infants who have either lost their mothers or those whose mothers are in critical illnesses that cannot allow them feed their babies properly.

Health promotion session at Lusubilo
Health promotion session at Lusubilo

The project supports 300 babies who have lost their mothers during birth or during the first 12 months, those that have been abandoned or rejected by their mothers and those with non-lactating mothers who have been referred by the district hospitals.

To ensure that these infants grow into healthy adults, the project supports them with infant formula. After that they are also supported with educational health sessions for their parents or guardians at the Lusubilo-based infant feeding centers, as well as at outstations.

These Health Promotion Sessions cover the following themes; hygiene and sanitation, good childcare practices, nutrition, meal preparation, including the use of iodized salt, use of Water Guard and other hygienic practices to avoid diarrhea and other water-borne illnesses.

With the Infant Feeding Program, Lusubilo has seen a great improvement in the health of these infants.

Bishop Mtumbuka Commissions Caritas Commission for Missio Ad Gentes
Caritas Commission Commissioned for Missio Ad Gentes

By Benjamin Msowoya

Bishop Martin Anwel Mtumbuka of the Diocese of Karonga has, on Wednesday, commissioned the Caritas Commission (a socio-economic arm) for Missio Ad Gentes work in the Diocese during the Ash Wednesday liturgy which took place at Kaseye Secondary School in Chitipa District.

In this Year of Missio Ad Gentes, the Caritas Commission has been specially sent to do missionary work in the Diocese because, according to the Bishop, “missionary work must remain the priority to the entire Diocese since it concerns the eternal destiny of our brothers and sisters.” He further said, “right from her inception, the Church has always understood works of charity as part of her special mission.” (cf. Acts 4:32-37).

During this Year of Missio Ad Gentes the Bishop has assigned special tasks to be carried out by the Caritas Commission as follows: Carry out specific works of charity for the most vulnerable people in the Diocese; Promote the care for environment with special focus on Nyika National Park and communities around it; Engage all relevant duty bearers regarding proceeds from Nyika National Park for the mutual benefit for the Central Government and local communities surrounding Nyika National Park.

The Commission is also supposed to Raise the profile of the plight of forgotten local communities which settled in very remote and poor areas surrounding the Park following their forced relocation from Nyika area some 42 years ago; Undertake the task of raising the required funds for its departments so that they can carry out all their assigned to them during this Year of Missio Ad Gentes and Put themselves at the disposal of the Bishop to be sent out to hard-to-reach areas as itinerant providers of works of charity and promoters of integral justice.

The Bishop commissioned eight representative members of the Caritas Commission, namely: the Caritas Secretary, Mr Mwawi Shaba; Education Desk Officer, Remmie Kamanga; Health Desk Officer, Mr Vincent Shaba; Justice and Peace Desk Officer, Mr Louis Nkhata; Development Desk Officer, Mr Franklin Msiska. Head Teacher of Kaseye Girls Secondary School, Sr Clementina Phiri (Representing all Catholic Secondary Schools in the Diocese); Head Teacher of Kaseye Full Primary School, Mr Benedict Mbotwa (Representing all Catholic Primary Schools in the Diocese);  Sister In-charge at Atupele Hospital (Representing Catholic Health Facilities in the Diocese).

The event was attended by among other people, Priests from St Michael’s Parish, students and staff of Kaseye Girls Secondary School; Catholics from Kaseye Prayer Centre and surrounding prayer centres; officers from the Bishop’s offices in Karonga; Sisters from St Anne’s, St Mary’s and St Steven’s parishes.

On 9th February 2019, Bishop Mtumbuka commissioned Ad Gentes Missionaries on the Pastoral front.  The commissioning of the Caritas Commission means that both Commissions can now officially go forth and spread the Good news, especially among communities in hard to reach and neglected areas.

Sunday school children holding tree seedlings ready to plant
Sunday School Children In Itela Zone Taking Strides In Missio Ad Gentes

By Moses Kamanga

In an effort to walk the talk on celebrating the year Missio Ad Gentes launched on the 9th of February Sunday School Children in Itela Zone under the new Parish of St. John Paul II have embarked on a tree planting exercise.

One of the planted trees
One of the planted trees

This is to fulfil one of their Missio Ad Gentes obligations, taking care of the environment as stipulated in the Missio Ad Gentes message of the Local Ordinary of the Diocese, Rt. Rev. Bishop Martin Mtumbuka.

Itela Zone has nine prayer centres and the tree planting activities take place in all the nine prayer centres of the zone.

“Our target is to replenish the forest belonging to our Church with pine trees that we used to have but now we harvested most of the trees” said one Sunday School instructor, Dominic Chizumila.

Parents are also involved in this exercise, “they are the ones who source tree seedlings for their children” added John Ndau the Catechist.

According to the Catechetical Methodology Advisor of St. John Paul II, Brian Kachitete, Itela Zone is among those that have very dedicated Christians.

“Though far from everything, the zone is very vibrant in their faith. There are about 850 adult Christians and 274 Sunday School children in the zone” indicated Kachitete.

Itela is about 35 Kilometres from the Parish Center, off Karonga-Chitipa road behind Chisasu Hills covering the naturally and beautifully knitted stretches of hills and valleys; testifying to the Creator that they were wonderfully made.

Ad Gentes Missionaries Prepared for Their Special Task

By Benjamin Msowoya

The Pastoral Commission of the Diocese of Karonga has from Wednesday 27 February to Saturday 2nd March oriented 13 Ad Gentes Missionaries.

The orientation exercise, which took place at St Mary’s Parish, targeted the thirteen missionaries selected for the mission. Among the thirteen are twelve men and one woman. The aim of the orientation was to prepare the selected Ad Gentes Missionaries in some crucial areas before they go to their assigned places of mission.

The Ad Gentes Missionaries were oriented in the following areas:

What Missio Ad Gentes is Bishop Martin Mtumbuka
Catholic Social Teaching Monsignor. Denis Chitete
Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Rosary Mr. Ignatius Mvula
Basic Church History and Structure Fr. Joseph Sikwese
The Creed Fr. Joseph Sikwese
Introduction to Bible Mr. Benjamin Msowoya
Introduction to Liturgy Fr. Cyprian Ngoma
Basic Social Analysis Mr. Franklin Msiska
Basic Report Writing Mr. Deodatus Muriya
Joint Development of a Checklist and Action Plan for Ad Gentes Missionaries Mr. Benjamin Msowoya


The Ad Gentes Missionaries were inspired by several things during their training.  One of the most touching factors was the presence of the Bishop, the Vicar General and the Pastoral Secretary among the facilitators of the training.

“This means this missionary task is very serious,” one Ad Gentes Missionary, Mr Julius Simbeye, said when he saw the Bishop joining them during the training, for three consecutive days.

During the training, the Bishop discussed with the Ad Gentes Missionaries on the selected places for mission and assigned them as follows:

# Missio Ad Gentes Missionary Parish and Zone of Residence  Assigned Place for Missio Ad Gentes
1. James Mwasangwale St Joseph the Worker Tcharo (Mlowe zone; St Francis De Sales)
2. Zachariah Mwafulirwa St Anne’s; Wovwe Tcharo (Mlowe zone; St Francis De Sales)
3. Joel Murwa St Joseph the Worker Ngana (Iponga zone; St Stevens)
4. Donatus Mapunda St Mary’s Ngana (Iponga zone; St Stevens)
5. Peter Mwakihana St Joseph the Worker; Mpata Lutusho/Ngisi (Iponga zone; St Stevens)
6. Matthias Mwambughi St Michaels; Chisankhwa Mlowo (St Mary’s)
7. Charles Chawinga St Joseph the Worker; Wiliro Mlowo (St Mary’s)
8. Barnaba Chawinga St Stevens; Kasantha Ntchechenali (Lughali zone; St Mary’s)
9. Matthias Ng’ambi St Ignatius; Chisenga Diyadiya (Thumbo zone; St Ignatius)
10. Julius Simbeye St Anne’s; Wovwe Diyadiya (Thumbo zone; St Ignatius)
11. Linda (Anna) Kafunda St Ignatius; Chisenga Vilangale (Lughali zone; St Mary’s)
12. Ignatius Mvula St Mary’s Musipita (Wovwe zone; St Anne’s)
13. Benjamin Msowoya St Mary’s Chenga (Ngara zone; St Anne’s)


The Ad Gentes Missionaries are set to go to their assigned places of mission for the first time on 11 March 2019. They will stay and work in their places of mission for up to one month before they report back and regroup for further work in their same assigned places of mission.

The Ad Gentes Missionaries are a special group that the Bishop has tasked to go and evangelize in hard to reach places where there is little or no presence at all of the Catholic Church.

Bishop Martin Mtumbuka of the Diocese of Karonga declared this year (1 December 2018 – 30 November 2019) to be the Diocesan year of Missio Ad Gentes through proclaiming the good news, works of charity and promoting integral justice.