ICDP developments started in 2010 and are still ongoing.
The Nutrition Unit at Alinafe is particularly effective in using ICDP. Paul Mmanjamwada is one of Malawi’s trainers who is also the leader of ICDP in Malawi. He was instrumental in achieving the integration of the ICDP programme as a permanent part of the strategic plan by the Malawi Norwegian Church Aid organization.
“2021 was a hard year and the ICDP team found it difficult to support specific ICDP interventions. The COVID-19 pandemic in 2021 affected our capacity to monitor ongoing ICDP activities. There are quite a number of ongoing activities in the Early Childhood Care Centers as well as at the Alinafe Community Hospital. We started the process of mobilizing resources so that we can consolidate all our activities in 2022.” – Paul Mmanjamwada.
During 2020, a new group of facilitators completed their ICDP training, which they embarked upon in 2019. The 16 newly trained facilitators are linked to the Evangelical Association of Malawi, operating in the Northern region of Karonga, a region that borders with Tanzania. Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, the ICDP Malawi team was not able to organize the ICDP certification ceremony.
Vestfold Mental Health Care Trust (PiV) is a mental health institution with a department for children and young people in Vestfold, Norway. PiV has been implementing a project called “ Psychosocial Support for Orphans and Vulnerable Children “ in Malawi in cooperation with local partners, such as the Chisomo Children’s Club and the Alinafe Community Hospital. The project was coordinated by the Norwegian Church Aid (NCA).
The Alinafe Community Hospital is a rural district hospital, which promotes a community based approach and runs a Nutrition and Rehabilitation Unit (NRU) and an Orphan Care Program. There are 126 villages and about 6000 orphans registered in Alinafe’s catchments area. In most of the villages there are Community Based Child Care Centres (CBBCs), run by volunteers and supported by social workers from Alinafe. The children at CBBCs are aged between 3 to 8 years old, some are orphans and many are affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic; the older children are unable to attend school due to poverty and lack of support.
In 2010, a small team of ICDP trainers from PiV ran two ICDP training workshops for social workers and volunteers involved in the work at the CBCCs and the NRU.
The ICDP approach was applied in building sensitive and caring relationships and interaction particularly with children suffering from malnutrition and neglect. There was an overwhelmingly positive feedback from the participants who successfully integrated ICDP in their daily work.
After this initial experience, PiV prepared a new 3-year project in cooperation with the Norwegian Church Aid, which includes further training in ICDP for workers at Alinafe Community Hospital and Chisomo Children’s Club.
By 2012 there were 40 facilitators and 3 trainers. 177 village leaders and 184 community members were oriented in ICDP. 144 caregivers participated in ICDP sensitization groups run by Malawi facilitators. Approximately 1000 children were reached.
There are regular field visits to Chizomo and Alinafe by PiV and NCA employees to follow up ICDP implementation on the ground.