Newsroom & Blog

May 16, 2019   |   Blog Post

A New Beginning for the Kwitanda Community Health Project

Carla Blauvelt, Malawi Country Director, and Thomas Mchipha, District Environmental Health Officer for Balaka, recognize VillageReach Alumni.

By Carla Blauvelt

Country Director, Malawi

“A reason, a season or a lifetime” is a saying that I can appreciate, and with the transition of the Kwitanda Community Health Project (KCHP) to Maikhanda Trust it was a season for VillageReach. In 2008, VillageReach began its journey, alongside the JBJ Foundation, to support the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) to achieve better results for maternal and child health in the Kwitanda community of Balaka district in Malawi.

Improving access and creating demand for health services in the community was a central objective for KCHP. One of the measures of impact was the rates of women accessing antenatal care (ANC). In July 2016, the rate increased to 57% of the community; and in July of 2017 it rose to 77% of the women in the community receiving full ANC services.

VillageReach’s philosophy is to build high-impact programs with the potential to transition.  Now 11 years later we are celebrating a bittersweet milestone as we transition the program to its new steward.

I am very excited to celebrate the newest members of our amazing VillageReach alumni. The KCHP team will join Maikhanda Trust to continue their powerful work for the community.

Naturally, I will continue to personally check in with the team as I have made relationships that will last a lifetime. So instead of goodbye, I prefer to say best wishes because we will continue to work together in different ways through our ONSE and PA work.

I am grateful to the team for all the work they have done over the years to build such a successful program. Over the last three weeks we have celebrated as a team and with the whole community. It was a walk down memory lane to share work-related and personal tales that made this journey special. At the community celebration, I had the honor of presenting certificates to the team, many of whom have been with VillageReach for the past 10 years! They truly are VillageReach KCHP pioneers.

On this occasion I can’t think of a more fitting quote:

“Stories don’t end, they just turn into new beginnings.”
–Lindsay Eagar, Hour of the Bees, pg. 123

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