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As you may recall, last year we made a significant change in our funding approach for new In Their Lifetime projects to help country teams and partners test and explore an idea before committing to a full three-year project. The new funding model operates in two phases. In Phase 1 our country teams and partners create and test an idea, mapping out all the blockers and opportunities and identifying and engaging key stakeholders, gaining their buy-in, to create strong foundations for future success. If the idea proves to have legs and get approved by the ITL Committee, it moves to Phase 2 for more funding. Phase 2 involves implementing the idea from Phase 1 in a target community with a budget of up to £350,000. It also entails devising a plan for applying the learning and scaling up beyond the project end.

Our first test of this new approach is our phase 1 Bamboo project in Malawi and our phase 1 Mother’s Cow (Mombe Yehumai) project in Zimbabwe.

Our ITL Programme Manager, Philippa Juma, visited communities in both projects to understand the opportunities. She then held project design workshops with the local partners to begin discussion around what scaled-up phase 2 projects might look like. Over the next month she will continue working with country teams and the local partners to refine plans, before making final decisions over whether to proceed to phase 2 with each project. 

ITL Bamboo Project, Malawi 

Our phase 1 Malawi project has explored the bamboo value chain, mapping bamboo forests in the country, and examining the profitability and feasibility of supporting communities to engage in the commercial bamboo market. In Malawi, Philippa met with those who grow the bamboo as well as artisans who make the products from bamboo, hearing from communities directly about their needs. 

Below is a video diary captured during her visit - 

ITL Mother’s Cow Project, Zimbabwe

In Zimbabwe, our phase 1 project explored the concept of 'Mombe Yehumai', a tradition whereby the mother-in-law is given a cow when her daughter is married. The project is exploring how we can build on local customs to empower women within the dairy and beef value chains. Philippa met with women's groups and other key stakeholders to better understand the opportunities that Mombe Yehumai offers.  

Below is a video diary captured during her visit -