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Community Opportunity Malawi: Samalani Video

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Published on Jan 31, 2010

For more information visit www.communityopportunity.co.uk
Community Opportunity is a project originally founded by Sussex University students. It is now also comprised of Sussex alumni and members of the local community. The aim of the project is to support Community Based Organisations (CBOs) by working with the local community to provide training in the practical skills and theoretical knowledge needed to establish successful enterprises. Currently the project is partnered with a CBO in Malawi: Samalani Orphan Care and Youth Organisation. In the Chichewa language 'samalani' means 'to take care

The Samalani centre is located in Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi. It is based in an area of Lilongwe called Area 23. In 2005, there was a severe drought and famine in Malawi which killed and affected many people. The Samalani centre was created by a man called Samson Chaziya to support the community following this tragedy. The centre provides:

- Nursery and Primary education
- Extra classes for Secondary students, school-leavers and those unable to attend Secondary school
- HIV awareness
- Elderly support
- Psycho-social support
- Recreational activities

In 2007, a member of Sussex University in the UK, Jes Howarth, travelled to Malawi where she met Samson and was introduced to Samalani Orphan Care and Youth Organisation. When she returned to the UK she started up Community Opportunity. Together, Jes and her fellow students set up a project which would provide funding, skills and job opportunities to the community. The aims of this project are two-fold:

1. To help local young people into employment by providing business skills training and advice alongside training in carpentry, tailoring and knitting.
2. To equip the participants with the skills they need to develop a locally-driven business, recycling a percentage of any profit back into Samalani centre, whilst providing them with knowledge for longer-term employability.

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