WE MET FISHANI MSAFIRI, THE HEALTH PROJECT OFFICER IN MALAWI, AND ASKED HIM TO TELL US MORE ABOUT HIS EXPERIENCE WITH TEMWA.
I’m currently working as a Health Project Officer. My role focuses on coordinating projects that aim to improve the well-being of HIV positive people through health education services and promoting health intervention programmes, which empower communities with knowledge and understanding about HIV and sexual productive health.
Where are you from?
I am from the region of Nkhata Bay. I went to primary school and then left to attend secondary school in another area. As I am from the region that Temwa serves, I have a real understanding of the people there and the issues they face, it also provides me with a deep knowledge of communities’ cultural, tribal and social life.
How did you get the job with Temwa? What did you do before?
I joined Temwa as a Voluntary Field Facilitator in 2010. It was the very first time Temwa was recruiting and training people from the local communities. I was supporting the implementation of the Farm and Training Support project, a large project covering agriculture and forestry. I was one of the first Lead Farmers!
In 2011 I got promoted as a full time Field Officer then I started working as a Project Officer in September 2013.
Before joining Temwa, I did some temporary jobs. I worked for the National Statistic Office (NSO) in 2008 carrying the Survey on National Population and Housing census then in 2009 I worked as a Supervisor, Manager and Clerk for the Nkhata Bay Highlands Coffee Grower Cooperative Society. From 2008 to 2010 I was also managing the Chipunga Youth Organisation that offers trainings in Youth Leadership and Life skills.
Why is Temwa special?
Temwa is special because it works directly with people living in very remote areas. The projects that are run by Temwa are always community-driven, the activities are chosen by the communities themselves, representing their own interest.
What has been your favourite moment working for Temwa?
My favourite moment working with Temwa is when I was promoted as a Project Officer. I felt so exalted that they gave me high responsibilities in managing big things!
I always feel so rewarded when I work with the young members of the communities and when I manage to empower youth leaders. I have seen such a change in attitude surrounding HIV, at first when young people were tested positive for HIV many of them felt helpless; today they are now living openly within their communities and working to educate their friends, neighbours and village leaders.
I love working with Temwa!
What do you think is the key to unlocking poverty?
I think that communities need to learn skills that can provide them with income; they also need to be empowered with education, knowledge and resources to be able to lead their own futures.