Community and Beneficiaries

RECAPO operates an orphanage, provides training and support to various people that for different reasons are unable to sufficiently provide for themselves and assists aspiring entrepreneurs to create and operate successful income generating activities.

RECAPO Orphanage

Nursery School

RECAPO has built a nursery school for orphans and children coming from households headed by PLWHAs and other vulnerable persons. The facility was built with the help of the OPC. Local businesses, NGOs including World Vision International, UNICEF and others provide food, learning materials and financial support for health and education.

The center supports a total of twenty eight children as of May, 2010. The center is staffed by volunteer teachers from within the community. Children are taught language, introductory arithmetic and arts.

The facility is by no means a world class learning center for the children, but the community is truly proud to have the young and developing minds introduced to the discipline of formal learning and the children are always eager and enthusiastic to learn. The closest elementary school is situated about ten miles from the center. RECAPO has secured funding to construct a junior primary school in 2012. The center is seeking help for books, supplies, teacher supplies,  and solar electricity.

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Youth Programs

Over forty youths are assisted by RECAPO in its various youth programs. Boys and girls of school age that are orphaned or coming from vulnerable households due to disability of parents, PLWHAs or elderly are supported with their school fees and supplies by RECAPO.

Seven youths are sponsored to attend secondary education. Support includes school tuition and other fees, uniforms, transportation and school supplies.

Occasionally, RECAPO has provided shelter to children abandoned by their parents while the Child Welfare department searches for a permanent home.

RECAPO provides skills training to young adults and assist them by engaging in income generating activities:

  • Tailoring
  • Tinsmith
  • Embroidery
  • Piggery and
  • Small holder irrigated gardening.

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PLWHAs

People Living With HIV/AIDS. There has been an increasing instance of PLWHAs in the community around RECAPO. These persons require support, both economic and moral. Many PLWHAs are not able to find full employment because of the high rate of sickness and inability to engage in some activities that require heavy manual labor (the majority of employment in this community). PLWHAs require more time off from work to make routine visits to health clinics for check ups and refill medications.

Travelling to the clinics is not easy for these people, requiring bus fares and time away from work. RECAPO organizes community health meetings where health officials educate the community about prevention and treatment of various diseases. They also offer routine check ups during these visits. RECAPO facilitates health education drives, and has occasionally provided bus fares to persons needing to visit hospitals.

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Maize Mill

Access to maize mills is very important for the village women and all households in general. There are two maize mills operated by local business persons within a radius of 25 miles. Maize mills require high upfront capital investment that many entrepreneurs are unable to raise. There is little price competition for milling services resulting in very high prices that are often unaffordable by local villagers.

RECAPO’s beneficiaries are among the worst affected by this shortage of milling services. Many residents resort to milling very small quantities of maize at a time just to afford the cost, as a result they spend excessive amounts of time travelling to the maize mill and spending a high percentage of their income on milling. RECAPO secured funding from World Vision Malawi in 2008 for the purchase of a mill, construction of a milling house and installing the mill. This project phase completed in 2009.

Unfortunately, World Vision could not fund the next phase which includes cost of a high grade electricity supply transformer and spare parts for the mill. RECAPO anticipates that the revenues from the mill will exceed expenditures starting in the second year of operation (2013). RECAPO will be able to provide affordable milling services to the community, generate revenue for its operations and create employment for young people to run the mill. RECAPO is seeking funding to complete this project.

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Tailoring

A total of seven young men and women have received training in tailoring. RECAPO, with the help of several organizations purchased five sawing machines in 2007 and hires services of trainers from the city. Graduates from the program have gone on to provide tailoring services to the community and earn income for their households.

Tailoring services are generally in high demand in Malawi to repair worn out clothes and adjust used clothing bought from the markets. Most families can not afford new clothing and must use their clothes for extended periods with increasing wear and tear. The existing sewing machines were acquired in 2007 and they have exhibited a high failure rate. RECAPO is planning to purchase two more machines from a different vendor and acquire a two year supply of spares for the existing fleet of machines.

Trainees make clothing that is sold in RECAPO’s grocery store to generate some income for the center. The center has assisted some graduates to access business loans to start their own tailoring services. Trainees in the program include youth and PLWHAs.

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Carpentry / Tinsmithing

These projects train young men and women in carpentry and tinsmithing. There are five trainees in the program currently. All the trainees are school going age and the training has become their out of school project.

RECAPO identified these young men as being at risk of dropping out of school and encouraged them to join the project, learn carpentry and use their skills later in income generating activities.

The project was initiated in 2009 with funding from PLAN International, and it has been a success in engaging these at risk youth. There is need to acquire new equipment and tools and supplies for the project. The project will start generating revenue in the 2011 fiscal year from sale of beds, chairs, coffins and other wood work products. .

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Piggery

The pig raising program is funded by BOC Gases. The program started in 2001 with initial seed capital from PLAN International and Mr. Lawrence Matengula to build the pens and purchase two sows and a boar. The project raises high breed pigs for breeding and sale of the offspring.

The program has provided swine to PLWHAs and other vulnerable households to start their own breeders. The swine provide protein to many of these households and income from sale of pork. Budget expenditures cover veterinary services, medication and disease prevention.

Thirty five households have benefited from the project since its inception.

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