In 2016 the opportunity arose for UP to merge with International Inspiration, the London 2012 Olympic/Paralympic legacy organisation and a leader in the field of Sport for Development and Peace. International Inspiration had been championing the use of sport in development, to empower disenfranchised groups, and in public education and behaviour-change programmes, since 2007.
Our staff on the ground in Malawi & Mozambique are working around the clock to support emergency efforts in the aftermath of Cyclone Idai. It is undoubtedly one of the southern hemisphere’s worst disasters with floods, landslides and destruction. It’s a race against time to save people. 600,000 have been severely impacted, with hundreds of lives loss and this number rising by the hour. Roads have been destroyed, homes destroyed, livestock & farms flooded. Those who survived now have little or no access to food, water and sanitation, and cholera is a risk in some areas.
Christina Zaluso is a farmer, mother of 3 young children and chief breadwinner since her husband husband has a chronic illness. They live in the Dedza District of Malawi in an area which has faced recurrent dry spells in recent times.
In the past, Christina grew maize to feed the family and earned a small income from selling the surplus. But it wasn’t enough to enable her to buy improved seed or to invest in new technologies. After repeated periods of drought, her crop yields dwindled, leaving the family facing days without food. Christina had to take on cleaning jobs to make ends meet, leaving less time to spend with her family and farm.
Christina told us that it was only after the ASPIRE Revolving Loan Scheme arrived in her village, Ntolo, that things began to improve. On joining the Nachikunga Community Grain Bank, she received a loan of 20 kg of soya beans, together with training in growing the crop, new technologies and how to manage repayments.
For the young women at Moving the Goalposts (MTG) – our Kenya-based partner that promotes gender equality through football – a love of sport is not the only thing that unites them. Speaking with many of the players, their shared ambition to achieve entrepreneurial success is overwhelmingly striking. Nurtured by MTG’s support, many of the players have set up ‘Savings Groups’ to incubate the skills and capital they need to assist them on their business journeys.
Ensuring inclusiveness, equality and empowering people with disabilities are at the heart of this year’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities - marked on December 3rd, 2018. As part of the ASPIRE programme in Malawi, United Purpose is helping to break the cycle of poverty, by increasing resilience and aiming to ensure that no one is left behind. Working closely with local authorities, UP is making sure that individuals like Yohane Kankhulungo receive the targeted support they need.