Sinazongwe, Saturday (March 30, 2024)

Centre for Environment Justice (CEJ) Executive Director Maggie Mwape has awarded K10 000 each to different groups as alternative livelihood support under the Resilient Initiatives for Sustainable Environment (RISE) Project with support from Bread for the World, Germany.

CEJ Executive Director Maggie Mwape said the livelihoods support is important because CEJ and Bread for the World realized the importance of a component that directly benefits households beyond dialogues.

Ms Mwape said last year, CEJ awarded four groups comprising of two from Sinazongwe Chiefdom and two from Mweemba Chiefdom.

She said CEJ is this time around awarding four more groups, targeting to award 30 groups by the end of 2026.

“I thank you for exercising patience waiting for this moment. When we launched the Resilient Initiatives for Sustainable Environment (RISE) Project with support from Bread for the World early last year, we mentioned that it has a component of alternative livelihood support. CEJ will give out K10 000 to each group. The groups have shared their plans such as rearing goats, running groceries and we will not call them as start up groups because they are already executing their ideas but had no resources for expansion. This is part of a CEJ revolving fund. We expect that after six months, you will return it at ‘interest free’ in monthly installments so that we can empower others. We appreciate groups that we supported last year because they performed so well by returning the money and this the money we are giving you today. CEJ hopes that this will be impactful in the plans that you want to do because we are simply trying to enhance what you are thinking about,” she said.

Meanwhile, Sinazongwe District Commissioner Nchimunya Siakole said his Administration was grateful to CEJ for complementing Government efforts in empowering the people of Zambia.

“I want to thank CEJ for empowering two more groups from Sinazongwe Chiefdom and two more from Mweemba Chiefdom. When these people come to our District, we are the ones that advise them to balance empowerment in the two chiefdoms. This type of activity is welcome in Sinazongwe District,” he said.

Mr. Siakole appealed to CEJ to find more resources so that groups can receive more than K10 000.

“It does not mean that the money groups will receive is too little, no,” he said.

“Those groups that were empowered last are doing very well which is testimony that there is no coin too little. It all depends on how to utilize those funds,” he said.

Mr. Siakole called for unity of purpose if groups were to succeed as abusing funds will not help the them.

“Follow the group guidelines religiously so that you only use the money for the intended purpose in order for your business to grow. My request is that in the years to come, CEJ increases the number of groups from two to three or four per Chiefdom because many clubs are waiting for the opportunity. By asking you like that, it does not mean that we do not appreciate, but a sign that we have more confidence in CEJ here in Sinazongwe and I know that you will do it,” he said.

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