Our impact, their voices
Moving families out of poverty through the One Stop Shop Approach
Life was not easy for Mary and her seven children after her husband divorced her. Her only option to make a living was to go into farming but it left her hopeless knowing she did not have enough funds to buy inputs such as seed, fertilizer and pesticides. Mary’s hopes of raising her seven children were almost shattered.
Life was not easy for Mary and her seven children after her husband divorced her. Her only option to make a living was to go into farming but it left her hopeless knowing she did not have enough funds to buy inputs such as seed, fertilizer and pesticides. Mary’s hopes of raising her seven children were almost shattered.“Hunger is going to kill my family, I thought to myself at some point, but that was before the districts officers, part of the Single Windows Initative introduced me to various social protection programmes ”, said 45 years, Mary Nambuwa of Namushakende in Mongu district.
At a glance, Mary’s homestead is packed with activities. A corn field surrounds her yard, goats bleat from the shed as customers come to her small stand where she sells her groceries.“Life is not easy in the village. The soil here is not very good for agriculture and to get good yield, you have to use a lot of fertilizer. You can invest in fish or rice business, but these are seasonal, so you still need other means to make a living throughout the year”, narrated Mary.
The meeting was arranged by the Districts officers to sensitize community members on the different programmes implemented by government under the single windows initiative.“One day, a meeting was called by the district officers and that’s how I leant about the different programmes that vulnerable households can benefit from. This was followed by a series of interviews and visits to my homestead. The process was vigorous and at some point, I thought I could not make it but I did”, she exclaimed happily
In the past years, Mary benefitted twice from the Food Security Pack where in both instances she was supported with two 90 Kg bags of urea, two 90 Kg bags of D-compound fertilizer, 10 Kgs of Rice and 10 Kgs groundnuts. She was weaned off the programme but still benefits from the information shared on sustainable farming practices. At a later stage, Mary was screened for the SUN II programe and she was successfully enrolled.
Apart from receiving the goats, Mary like other beneficiaries has been receiving key nutrition messages through community sensitization meetings and the Radio listening groups.“ I received a male and a female goat, and now I have seven more from these”, Mary happily narrated.
“I was so moved by the information I have been receiving and how it has improved my household nutrition. I decided to become a member of the drama group and I am so happy; I can impart the same knowledge to others”, she added.
Mary uses the manure from the goats to grow her back yard garden and also sells it to other farmers who do the same. Through, the Single Windows Initative, Mary also joined a village savings where she has been saving money.Through the community drama group Mary narrates that she feels challenged and motivated to do more. “You cannot teach others what you are not and that is why I work even harder. At the moment, I have nine goats that I am rearing but my dream is to have more than hundred so I can sell to others”
I have continued doing piece works and sell groceries from my home as part of my income generating activities. “I am so happy with the programmes I was introduced to. I can now provide nutritious food for my family and mostly importantly, my children can now go to school”, narrated Mary.
The Single Window Service (SWS) delivery system provides a “one stop shop” approach in the delivery of social protection programs and employment services hosted in district government structures. SWS’ aimS to enhance coordination of social protection service provision through locating social protection services close to the people, empower local communities and the sub-national administration in the delivery of services, and increase access to information, transparency traceability and case management through efficient management information systems.
The Single Windows Initiative is spearheaded by the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services with participation of other line ministries in the implementation of social protection programmes through the GRZ-UN Joint Programme on Social Protection UNJPSP II. Cooperating partners, the ILO, UNICEF, and the World Bank, supported the pilot-approach in six Champion Districts (Mongu, Mambwe, Samfya, Lunga, Mpulungu and Kafue). Single windows successful approaches have been replicated in the implementation of other government social protection programmes such as the COVID 19 Emergency Cash Transfer.