Updated: Aug 24
Everything about the Manyamula COMSIP Cooperative in Malawi embodies community spirit in action. They are at once a farmer cooperative, peer counselors, savings and loans providers, a social network, and a vehicle for local economic development and charity.
“This cooperative puts people first and strives to meet members’ needs. It helps us do together what we cannot do on our own,” said chairperson Canaan Gondwe during SIA’s visit to Manyamula in June.
In 2013, Manyamula COMSIP Cooperative received a Spirit in Action grant to purchase a maize (corn) grinder and mill. Corn is the staple food in this area and most families grow their own food on small plots of land. Without the maize mill they have to grind the corn by hand, a hard and time-consuming process. The maize mill – right there in their neighborhood – changes all that!
Maize stored in a home granary. A Malawian eats an estimated 650 lbs of maize each year.
The project is managed by five women and brings in over $100 each week. Non-members pay full price and cooperative members get a discounted rate. 25% of the income goes to the managers and is saved for repairs and expenses, and the rest goes to the cooperative loan fund.
The project also has a “Pig Pass-on” pay-it-forward initiative. Since 2013, they have given piglets to fourteen members. Pigs are important forms of investment and wealth in this rural village.
“We overcome challenges with unity,” said Canaan Gondwe with pride. There are 147 cooperative members; 78 women and 69 men. Since an average family household in Malawi is five members, Manyamula COMSIP directly impacts about 735 household members.
On this Giving Tuesday, and in the season of America’s celebration of Thanksgiving, we invite you to support Manyamula COMSIP Cooperative’s activities through Spirit in Action. Click here to give fee-free to our Facebook campaign, or donate through our website.