The Story of MaondE Community
Jonathan recognised that the community of Maonde faced many challenges and difficulties which created many hurdles. In 2008, Pastor Jonathan saw the need to support his community by serving the large number of vulnerable children. Maonde suffers from many challenges including HIV/AIDS, which is widespread and growing. Jonathan gathered community members around him to answer the call that God gave him to help the vulnerable in his community.
Children currently supported: 150
Number of Care Workers: 20
Coordinator Name: MARTIN PHILI
Distance from DEDZA Local Office: 30 KM
Basic Services Started: 2013
In 2011, Jonathan met Hands at Work in Africa. Together, 7 local churches were challenged and encouraged to care for their community. Chisomo Community Based Organization (CBO) was born. Hands at Work provided training for Chisomo CBO volunteers and assisted them in building up the CBO. While the work began with a handful of people, there are now 20 volunteers who are trained in serving the most vulnerable children in their community. Chisomo CBO provides an afterschool programme to assist children with their homework. This gives the children a safe place to come to each day, plus the emotional and spiritual support they need. Chisomo Care Workers also regularly visit each child in their homes.
Chisomo CBO began to provide the 3 Essential Services of basic health care, education and food to 50 children in January 2013. In 2015, this number increased to 150 children.
The Maonde Care Workers have recently completed their first Income Generating Activity (IGA). This was a great success and encouragement to the team, especially as the severe drought has taken hold of most crops throughout Malawi. The Care Workers grew 2 acres of maize, watered by hand, which produced approximately 60 bags of maize. The profits made from the sales of the bags will be shared between the Care Workers and used to support their families.
Kausiwa* (8), lives with her mother Mercy. Following the death of her father last year, Mercy struggles to provide for Kausiwa and her brother. Kausiwa was born with a speech impediment, and struggles to communicate. In April 2015, Sherita a local Care Worker came alongside Mercy to help her care for her children. Through the support and encouragement of Sherita, Kausiwa began school for the first time in September. Mercy, is grateful for her new friends and for the hope of a future for her children.
The Hands at Work office in Dedza currently supports four Community Based Organisations, which exist to care for the most vulnerable in their communities. The office provides training, networking, and encouragement to those Community Based Organisations like Chisomo. It also gives administrative support, including helping with funding proposals, monitoring and evaluation, bookkeeping and reporting to donors.
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Care Workers are the key in bringing healing and transformation to the lives of our children. They are men and women from the local churches within our communities who recognize their Biblical mandate and answer their call to care for the most vulnerable children. They demonstrate what it means to give freely, love unconditionally, and sacrifice everything. Often, Care Workers face their own traumas and live in dire poverty, just as the children they care for do, but their determination to persevere and care despite their own circumstances challenges everyone they come into contact with. They are greatest in the Kingdom of God!
Royie Nazombe, Dedza local office coordinator, shares, “This feeding program had a great impact. Grandmothers and caregivers could not believe this was happening to them. I remember meeting with the grandmothers after the packages were distributed. Before, all they were eating was a small amount of vegetables for lunch and supper. I heard them say ‘today I will taste nsima for the first time’. People were very happy.”
I wake up early and spend some quiet time with God, but I know this morning is different than any other I had spent so far in Malawi. I am going to visit Chinku Community, a community quite a far distance away. I hesitate – “Is it too far? Maybe I am not up to going out today.” I make excuses. My quiet time reflects my hesitation, and I ask God, “Why am I feeling this way? Why am I hesitating?” As tears well in my eyes, I know God has something different for me today. I do not know what to pray, but I know the Holy Spirit is praying – groaning on my behalf.
When many children were not going to school in their community of Mngwere, Malawi, Royie and Violet responded. They knew they were called to bring life to these orphaned and vulnerable children. Their vision began in 2007, when a group of people from the church Royie serves in as a pastor started caring for the most vulnerable children in Mngwere. In their poverty stricken community, mobilising the local church to sacrifice their own meagre resources to care for others was a challenge.
Facing life without her parents and her siblings could have brought a life full of grief and loneliness to Geradine. Thankfully, by the grace and calling of God, a group of men and women in Chinkhu have gathered together to respond to the needs of the most vulnerable families.
It is difficult to comprehend the struggles faced by the poor in Malawi. When it comes to education, many children dream of going to school and learning, living in the hope that they may one day succeed, get a job and escape the cycle of poverty they were born into. But for too many children in Malawi today, these dreams never come to fruition.
The cries of my newborn sister pierced the air. At 13 years of age I was excited to finally become a big. My excitement turned to stunned disbelief when I learned my mother had lost her life giving birth to my sister. What would become of our family now? How could we go on without our mother?