By Daniel Kasondo
Thyolo, December 14, Mana: Community Savings and Investment Promotion (COMSIP) exhibitions in the communities promote participation as community members are encouraged to join or establish own groups.
Thyolo District Community Development Officer (DCDO), Augustine Chipanda, said on Friday at Thunga School Ground when the District Office organized an open day for COMSIP groups, where they showcased different activities like preparation of nutritious foods.
He said when exhibitions are organised, more people are influenced and compelled to join the groups with some establishing their own after learning and admiring how the COMSIP members’ lives transformed.
“The exhibitions are very important. They influence community members to join because they learn a lot from their friends who are already organised in groups. It makes the number of groups to keep growing in the district,” Chipanda added.
The DCDO said the exhibitions also encourage the COMSIP groups to continue working hard as they share experiences during interaction and learn different skills from each other.
The Officer bemoaned low participation and lack of interest in men to join the groups which he said gives an impression that COMSIP is for women.
One COMSIP member, Alena Januwale from Tikondane COMSIP group from Bvumbwe said after joining the groups, her life has completely transformed as she is able to support her family and manages to send her children to school single handedly.
“I was a desperate woman before I joined these groups. I used to eat once a day but now I own a good small business of second hand cloths, which am proud of because it gives us our daily needs,” she said.
The COMSIP member said if more women join the groups, issues of Gender Based Violence (GBV) in homes would reduce as wives would manage to support themselves than depending on husband.
Thyolo District Council Chairperson, Amos Bakili said it was pleasing that women were more active in development of their families through COMSIP.
He urged men and more women to join the groups so that their economic status could rise and contribute positively to the development of the country.
COMSIP is a government initiative where community members organize themselves and get involved in savings and loans to do small business to uplift their lives.
Thyolo has over 300 active COMSIP groups.