Bwalya “Emma’ Kangwa is 31. She’s proud of her role as a voluntary community adviser.
Bwalya’s the mother of two young children. She rears and sells chickens to earn a living, and received training in poultry rearing and other farming practices.
She plays an important role in community life in Manjakazi village in Zambia’s Eastern Province, mentoring others and sharing the knowledge that she has learned from Gorta-Self Help Africa.
“As a community development facilitator I get the chance to travel around the district and give people help and advice,” she says.
There are 15 unpaid development facilitators working across the district, and more than half of them are women.
“It’s important for women to be involved. Women farmers listen, and trust what I have to say”.
Community development facilitators in Chipata district are provided with training in a range of farming techniques. They receive bicycles to enable them to travel, and other small incentives to support her in her role.
In many projects, Gorta-Self Help Africa trains local farmers to serve as community-based advisors. This approach puts knowledge in the hands of local people in a way that is both sustainable and cost effective.