Our Graduation program is designed to “graduate” families out of extreme poverty and reduce recidivism.

Concern’s Graduation Program

Concern recognizes the multidimensional nature of extreme poverty. As the name suggests, our Graduation program is designed to “graduate” families out of extreme poverty.

The program offers an integrated and intensive package of support over a period of 18 months to 3 year. This package of support, which targets extremely poor households, is usually sequenced, beginning with business coaching. Cash transfers and skills training follow, and participants eventually gain access to capital grants, low interest loans or fixed assets.

The goal of this package is to help families build sustainable livelihoods, one by one, and based on each individual family’s skills and passions. Not only does it move people above a certain threshold of wealth, but it also helps them exit extreme poverty in a sustainable fashion. Independent research has shown that one of the key factors in the success of this model is regular mentorship and monitoring — Concern teams spend much of their time on the highways and byways, listening, advising, and encouraging.

Our impact

Concern’s Graduation approach was seen as a relevant multi-dimensional approach that tackled some of the relevant issues in Malawi, including gender discrimination. Beginning in January 2017, we have worked on a tailored 5-year program that fosters a community-wide approach to addressing problems that affect all poor people in a community, including a special focus on transforming gender attitudes and norms.