First Lady launches Malawian Women in Diaspora Network- Calls for collaborative networking to influence Development in Malawi

By Chalo Mvula

 The First lady Madam Monica Chakwera has said the job of developing Malawi is not a one-person job but needs collaborative efforts of all. She made the call on Saturday afternoon when she virtually launched a new group called, Malawian Women in Diaspora Network (MWDN) also known as Sisterhood for Change. The First Lady called for more networking of various stakeholders both home and in the diaspora if solutions to most of the challenging problems Malawi face are to be found.

In her speech to mark the launch of the group ,Madam Chakwera  whose charity organisation Shape the Future Foundation focuses more on improving the life of a girl child , commended the Diaspora women for coming up with such an initiative which will be paramount in finding ways to improve the life of Malawians Including that of  ‘the girl child.’

Madam Chakwera said she is happy that already, women in the diaspora are influencing things in Malawi through businesses, Knowledge transfer, skills sharing and remittances.  She went on to say the untapped human and social capital available in the diaspora is something that need to be effectively utilised. The First Lady felt the link between those in diaspora and back home has not been fully used and its potentiality has minimally been explored. She urged the women that geographical locations should not be a hindrance for networking more especially in modern times where technology can bring people together from various parts of the world for meetings and networking.

 “Malawi is blessed with many resources; Lets utilise our uniqueness to succeed in our common goal. We need Unity of purpose and with that, we will see that our productivity levels will increase” said Madam Chakwera.

Malawian Women in Diaspora Network Launch Event .

 The First Lady then went on to declare the new women’s group officially launched “I commend you women in the diaspora  for the spirit  of networking , deciding to work together .I am a beneficially of mentorship  through people that have mentored me to be where I am  and I believe with this group ,not only will you mentor each other but you will also mentor and inspire many girls and women in Malawi. I now declare Malawian Women in Diaspora Network group and its official website open “

 The Saturday event was packed with many inspiration stories from various women who have overcome obstacles in their way , and are making a difference in various fields and communities and was moderated by Canga Kamwambe and Fatima Nkata. Edith Chikago Parker shared the mission and vision of the new group that include coordinating information for Malawi development, knowledge exchange and investments and philanthropic activities. The group also aims to connect Malawians women and girls in order to build networks and partnerships for empowerment and development of Malawi. The line-up of inspirational speakers includes  Ruth Mbera  who shared her entrepreneurial  story as Chef ,Mavis Kadzanja and  the growth of her personal development company ,Dr Grace Kamchulesi of National Planning Commission ,Tina Sayenda  and also Joyce Obaseki, whose organisation Grant a Smile UK offers cleaning support services  to families or individuals  fighting a difficult life battles.

Also given a platform to inspire the women was American based Dr Dalitso Sulamoyo who currently is the Chief Executive Officer of United States National Community Action Partnerships (NCAP), an organisation that represents over 1000 various community organisations in Urbana, Illinois area. Dr Sulamoyo encouraged the women to not look back but work towards developing strategies that looks at their strengths, available opportunities, their aspirations and the meaningful outcomes that will come out of it.  Similar remarks were echoed by well-known social activist Bhatupe Mhango Chipanta and Dr Fulata Moyo, whose inspirational stories injected the much-needed energy and enthusiasm to the new members of the group.

State House Special Advisor to the First Lady Pastor Macduff Phiri also took time to give a brief background of the Shaping the Future Foundation. UK based Singer Matamando provided some light entertainment.

One of the event organisers Dr Naomi Msusa , speaking to Nyasa Times  said the diaspora women group felt honoured that the First Lady made herself available for the Launch of the group. Msusa said women in diaspora can register themselves to the network through the website