Evangelical Lutheran Development Service
Landlocked Malawi ranks among the world’s least developed nations, with a predominantly agricultural economy and 90% of the population living in rural areas. The country faces strong challenges to improve health and education facilities and deal with the HIV epidemic, food insecurity and environmental degradation.
DWS first began work in Malawi in 1989 as the Evangelical Lutheran Development Program (ELDP), primarily in response to requests from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Malawi (ELCM) and the Malawian government for assistance to Mozambican refugees in Malawi. In 2005, ELDP became Evangelical Lutheran Development Service (ELDS), the development service arm of the ELCM, and operates as a DWS associate program.
Current ELDS focus areas are:
- Sustainable livelihoods
- HIV and AIDS
- Environment and climate change
- Emergency and disaster management
Gender, human rights and malaria concerns feature centrally in ELDS’s work.
ELDS empowers rural communities, especially women-headed and other vulnerable households, to attain food security. Programs encourage crop and livestock diversification, growing of crops in winter, irrigation, cultivation of fish, and food processing and storage.
ELDS assists communities to understand their basic right to development. Water and sanitation projects improve access to clean water. ELDS also implements community-based microfinance projects to emphasize the value of saving and to provide opportunities for small loans.
HIV and AIDS
In response to the challenge of HIV and AIDS in Malawi, ELDS focuses on advocating behavior change, reducing stigma and discrimination, and promoting care and support for people living with HIV or affected by AIDS.
Environment and Climate Change
ELDS strengthens rural communities’ capacity to use natural resources in a sustainable manner via such techniques as tree-planting and agroforestry interventions, the production of energy-saving clay stoves and conservation farming.
ELDS promotes an integrated approach, including water harvesting and use of drought-tolerant crops, to enable communities to adapt effectively to the impact of climate change.
Emergency and Disaster Management
In cooperation with the ACT Alliance, ELDS addresses needs caused by the regular floods and periodic drought that strike Malawi. ELDS also empowers communities to cope with and prepare for natural disaster through projects such as food grain banks and community irrigation schemes.
Humanitarian Accountability Partnership Standards
ELDS is moving to implement Humanitarian Accountability Partnership (HAP) standards in all its humanitarian and development programs. A community-based feedback mechanism ensures that program work complies with the global quality assurance standards.
For more information please contact:
Mr Duane Poppe, Program Officer
Ms Neema Mwakasungula, Acting Director