by Wanangwa Mtawali
Churches Action in Relief and Development (CARD) and South Africa based Action Churches Together (ACT) Ubumbano have partnered with Malawian journalists in a project known as Voice Up, which exposes the various challenges communities face in order to influence the action of key multinational stakeholders.
CARD and ACT Ubumbano are implementing the project through the ACT Forum, a coordinating unit for the local membership of churches and faith based organizations, known as ACT Alliance Malawi.
Voice Up uses Ubumbano Voice, a website created to expose community challenges in order to attract beautiful and powerful actions for change. It connects community members and relevant stakeholders across communities and across countries.
The journalists, according to CARD, have been brought in to help amplify and put professional aspect and human face to the stories being told on the website.
Speaking during a training involving some journalists drawn from Lilongwe, Dowa and Ntchisi, Acting Deputy Program Manager for CARD, Lameck Nkhoma, said journalists are key in exposing issues affecting people, which leads to attracting assistance from development partners and donors.
“Some people and communities are suffering in silence, for they have nowhere to take their issues. This partnership with journalists will help us unearth more of the challenges people face and then bring their concerns on our Ubumbano Voice website, where they will be heard and then partners and donors will assist them,” said Nkhoma, who is also Acting Coordinator for ACT Forum.
A facilitator for Voice Up, Dorothy Kazombo Mwale, concurred with Nkhoma, adding that the partnership with journalists will make the project have more impact.
One of the journalists, Henderson Msusa, commended CARD and ACT Ubumbano for the partnership, saying it further promotes in journalists the spirit of serving people.