Malawi Lilongwe. 2013 Annual Conference of Project Malawi
At the Crossroads Hotel in Lilongwe, on September 12th, was held the Annual Conference organized by the partners of Project Malawi.
Project Malawi started in 2005 on the initiative of Intesa Sanpaolo Bank and Cariplo Foundation, with the aim to contribute, in the long run, to the economic and social revival of Malawi through the collaboration between large NGOs operating in the country: the Community of Sant'Egidio – DREAM, Save the Children, CISP – International Committee for the Development of Peoples), a local scout organization (MAGGA) and the local Government.
Thanks to the innovative idea of bringing into play different actors to amplify the results obtained in 2008, in New York, the project was honored with the award for the best initiative in the category "Community Philanthropy" by the Global Business Coalition, the international organization engaged in the fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
The theme chosen for this year's conference was: "Partnerships for Sustainable HIV/AIDS Impact Mitigation" and was attended by over 150 guests.
The meeting was officially opened by the Minister of Health, Hon. Gotani Catherine O'Hara.
The Project Coordinator Dr Elard Alumando welcomed the Minister and, in his introductory speech of welcome, he stressed the importance of the cooperation with the government and described the results achieved by the consortium in these years of common work.
The projection of a video documentary made for the event allowed everyone to understand the interaction between the partners and the work of Project Malawi in the field.
In the numerous interventions that have taken place, including those of: Hon. Anita Kalinde, Minister for Equality, Dr. Thomas Bisika, Director of the NAC (National AIDS Commission), Victor Sandikonda, Director of the President's Special Office for nutrition and HIV, and others, was stressed the importance of the teamwork carried out by the Malawi Project which, through a multidisciplinary approach, has been able to carry out a “decisive action that has achieved significant results in the many areas of intervention”.
Project Malawi has always worked in collaboration with the national government, and thanks to the synergetic work of the partners, it was possible to extend the fields of action and attain a particularly effective program.
Among the examples cited, its commitment to the implementation of molecular biology laboratories and the results achieved in the fight against the AIDS pandemic, were highlighted especially with regards to vertical prevention.
The Minister of Health reminded that DREAM has had a pioneering approach in the treatment and early diagnosis of HIV in childhood, which has encouraged the spread in the country of effective plans for the prevention and the fight against the viruses.
The conference finished with the hope and trust of the partners in finding the resources to continue their operations beyond 2014, the year that concludes the three-year phase planned by Project Malawi and with an invitation from the institutional representatives to promote other projects that will work involving several organizations because the experience of Project Malawi has shown that the multi-sector approach is more effective and offers the greatest impact on the development of the country if compared with the action of sectoral projects submitted by individual organizations.