THP-Mozambique Celebrates New Maternity Ward and Moves Forward in Food Security
Update to the Global Board
THP-Mozambique had a busy second half of 2012, starting with the inauguration of its Health Center in Chókwè Epicenter. This event marked the launch of a maternity ward, where women can give birth with a trained midwife attending them rather than health agents present at the community level (see picture on the right).
In addition to this busy inauguration schedule, THP-Mozambique was able to mobilize many new microfinance partners. The recruitment of these new microfinance partners is a crucial step forward for all Microfinance Programs to receive official recognition as rural banks.
- Health and Nutrition. The Health Center in Chókwè Epicenter was successfully inaugurated. The celebration was attended by the District Administrator of Chókwè, who was accompanied by his staff, government officials and local leaders, and nearly 500 epicenter partners. This new health center represents a significant reduction in the distance the epicenter population must walk to access vital health services. Furthermore, in light of the fact that the services offered by the clinic are carried out and run by the government, this health center will strengthen Chókwè Epicenter’s relationship with the government.
- Food Security. In order to diversify activities related to food security(a program area underwritten by our investors in Switzerland) and increase incomes in the epicenters, experimental fish farming in Zuza Epicenter was introduced through a technical partnership with Millennium Villages. For this project, MV is training technical assistants in order to build epicenter partners’ skills in fish farm management. This activity is an exciting innovation in THP-Mozambique’s work to increase food security.
- Community Mobilization and Microfinance. During the fourth quarter, THP-Mozambique intensified its community mobilization activities in order to recruit new microfinance partners. During the reporting period, 76 new partners were recruited, of which 62 are in Chókwè Epicenter. The need to mobilize 200 partners per epicenter for the Microfinance Program (MFP) is crucial, as it is a basic requirement to submit an application to be recognized and function as a rural bank. This is particularly important in Chókwè Epicenter, where THP-Mozambique hopes to recognize its first rural bank in 2013. These newly recruited partners set Chókwè Epicenter’s MFP very close to its minimum target. For Zuza and Manhiça Epicenters, THP-Mozambique has also been trying to grow the membership because it leads to higher yields, lower liquidity and overall growth.
- Innovation. During the third quarter, Manhica’s Epicenter Committee organized themselves to search for ways to increase their revenues. They made a request to open an interest-bearing bank account for the savings deposits in a commercial bank in order to earn interest on the amount deposited in the epicenter account. THP-Mozambique thinks it is important to use their examples to show other Epicenter committees that it is possible to improve their revenues.