Innovation at work inside Malawi’s Dzaleka refugee camp

In Malawi’s Dzaleka refugee camp, a pioneering refugee-led organization (RLO) called Women for Action is leading an aquaponics project to tackle food insecurity and equip women with vital new skills.

Cécile Pango is the founder and manager of the female-run RLO, which is collaborating with the UN refugee agency’s Refugee-led Innovation Fund to train 100 women, not only with the goal of providing food to at least 1000 people but to empower women with the tools to work in management and marketing positions.

“The Project by Women for Action provides training on aquaponics farming. The objective is to cultivate vegetables outside the soil,” Cécile tells me. Founded by women in 2012, Cécile says Women for Action is making women financially autonomous so they can “avoid falling into abuse and violence.”

“Our first activity was the creation of briquettes with the energy created by biomass,” explains Cécile. “It allowed women to create and sell, and thus become entrepreneurs.” With its latest project on aquaponics, Cécile tells me the “first phase is over” and “100 women and six men are now trained in computing.”


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