Lemani community – Impact highlight
Lemani group of pastors from the Southern part of Malawi is a referral product of an older group of pastors from Zomba community. Having been recruited by Zomba group in October 2020.
To ensure that the pastors are empowered to critically analyze things and consider a holistic transformational vision for their community, a needs assessment was carried out to help the pastor leaders analyze and evaluate their community needs. This prompted the leaders to immediately start looking for answers and ways to tackle some of the issues identified and also how to incorporate the community in the process.
As immediate responses to the trainings and a reflection on the community issues the pastors identified, some of the actions they took have brought the church and community people together in small introductory projects. Some of these projects include:
Planting of 36000 tree seedlings to be transplanted in the rainy season was carried out as a step to responsible citizenship of community members. The degraded environment needed some management to reduce soil erosion and improve school landscapes. From this introductory activity, the church is now leading in instilling discipline of community transformation as part of a response to the Gospel. The Church is now relevant in demonstrating and supporting holistic living.
A total of 833 households benefitted from this activity which are families from Mwanga, Selenje, Mwambeni & two villages from Paulo as they received 25,000 tree seedlings. While schools like Mwanga Primary and Chisugulu Community Day Secondary School shared 3,000 tree seedlings with Mwanga School taking 2,000 and 1,000 going to the day secondary. The remaining 4,000 seedlings were used by Jerusalem Shalom group to develop their own woodlot.
The activity has created a sense of unity and resulted in development of structured bible study meetings and commitment to prayer. The community members are now working together to form small-scale businesses that boost individual family income.
The pastors have funded through their savings, the training of motorcycle riding for 7 youth, as a means to economic empowerment.
As the pastors and their church members have started savings and loaning within their small groups, they are now able to help their members in providing for the basic needs of families. Savings and loaning activities that has been introduced in the existing shalom groups, has empowered people to borrow money and use those funds to improve their farming preparations during the planting season. A considerable number of people that have invested in farming have seen a great improvement in how their crops are faring on this year which gives them hope of an improved and increased harvest which will bolster food security.
The group of pastors have one early childhood centre where they teach children, feed them daily and facilitate play activities for them.
With what has begun in Lemani, the group is gradually becoming an agent of change as people are now influenced to take responsible action in issues that concern their daily lives.