Our goal was to provide the resources and organizational structure that empower communities to solve the problems that they found most pressing. Our most vital links to the community was our CHWs; one indicator of our project’s success is their enthusiasm and commitment. They formed an association named, Miyuji Ipagala Chamwino (MIC), named for the three wards they serve. CHWs give 1/5 of their weekly earnings to MIC, which gives out loans to start small businesses.
The close ties we have forged with the community provided key insights into how we improved our projects. For example, as an incentive to report births, we offered a gift package to new mothers. This resulted in an increase of reported births, enabling CHWs to visit more households during the critical first few days of a newborn’s life. Similarly, we listened to our CHWs concern for people who were seriously ill but unable to seek medical treatment. In response, we started a simple taxi-based service to provide emergency transport to medical facilities.