In March 2015, UNC Chapel Hill students collaborated with CARE International to create a series of videos about their maternal health program in Ntcheu, Malawi. I worked as videographer and editor of the video above, which has been used by the non-profit to promote maternal health programs. 

Editor’s note  Lucy was only able to pay for Keti’s consultation and medication with the help of videographer Andrea Patiño Contreras who paid for the treatment.

Lucy heads the Community Action Group, a group formed as a result of the Score Card process tasked with implementing and monitoring the solutions agreed upon by the community and service providers.

Together, with the community, the Community Action Group decided they wanted to build a community clinic to make health information and service more accessible.

The community began building the clinic after collecting a contribution from every village household, and mobilizing resources for bricks and cement.

“We carry the bricks on our heads from the primary school to the site where the clinic is being constructed.” Lucy said.

The clinic is currently just a brick foundation and walls. The project is at a standstill for now–the community ran out of funds and construction supplies. When resources become available, the community will a concrete floor and cover the clinic with an aluminum roof.

The future of Chigodi’s health care is close to Lucy’s heart because she knows it will shape her granddaughter’s health.

“Keti will also benefit from the village clinic because she won’t have to travel long distances for medical help,” Lucy said.

Text by Samantha Harrrington 

Trailing behind her grandmother, five-year-old Keti Liwambano walks out of her home in a shiny pink dress. Inside the brick house, sheltered with a thatched sugarcane roof, a bottle of painkillers sits on the table.

Keti’s been sick for a few days; she’s showing symptoms of Malaria.

Her grandmother, Lucy, raises her. Lucy hopes the painkillers heal Keti but knows her granddaughter needs a doctor.

The nearest public clinic is over 15 km from their home. Lucy and Keti own neither a bike nor a car, so getting to the free government facility isn’t possible.

Lucy, who loves her granddaughter more than anything else in her life, is stuck.

“I usually have to borrow money from elsewhere in order to take Keti to the hospital,” Lucy Liwambano said. “I can then get piece work [temporary jobs] in order to be able to pay back the money.”

This dilemma is faced by many people in the Liwambanos’ community and across Malawi.

In 2012, through the Community Score Card process, community members and health service providers came together to discuss the health care issues in Chigodi, Ludy and Keti’s village, and jointly identify solutions.