MALAWI Naotcha is a township on the outskirts of Blantyre, Malawi, and is an area in which HOPE for AIDS has been working for some time. Indeed, HOPE for AIDS’ first home-based care project in Malawi was established in this township. Today it is the setting for an “income generating activity” where it is helping people living with HIV and/or AIDS to produce a marketable product. Sales generate income for their families as well as profit to be invested back into the home-based care program. The product is soap. From an unappetizing start of around 7.5kgs of animal fat with cooking oil, caustic soda, water and Artemisia, the ladies involved with the project produce bars of good quality soap which is then sold locally. Each batch of soap takes about four weeks from start of production to saleable product. They sell a block for about 120 Malawian Kwacha (roughly .37 USD) making it accessible to their local community neighbors and still enabling them to make a profit and each earn a wage. The program has become so successful that, this year, the ladies are taking on the business themselves under mentorship of HOPE for AIDS Home-Based Care Coordinator Thomas Fungulani. So, how did the soap adopt it’s “lucky” name? Group members decided on the name stating that they felt “lucky” to have been chosen to make the soap and learn how to successfully run a small business and sustain such an important service in the Naotcha township.
Have a look at our numbers, broad view and a couple of typical stories in our year review.