Malila* and her family were already vulnerable before tragedy struck. It was only by chance that Care Workers in Mwaiseni community even noticed Malila and her sisters. Visiting a neighbouring home, Care Workers saw the three girls sitting outside during the day and wondered why they were not in school. It quickly became clear that the family could barely feed their daughters, let alone afford uniforms and school tuition. The family was living off the meagre profits the mother and father earned by selling the produce of a small garden on their property. The income they brought in was not enough to keep the family fed and clothed.
Alice, one of Mwaiseni’s Care Workers, began bringing the girls to the Life Centre to receive a hot meal every day. She also arranged for the girls to join the community school. The tireless volunteers who run the school are determined to educate the most vulnerable in Mwaiseni and a lack of space or resources will not deter them! In the past, they had been known to cram all the children into one small room in a Care Worker’s home when they had no other option. Malila and her sisters began to thrive. Their humble education was made mighty under the love and tutelage of their teachers.
But suddenly, their lives were tragically changed. Last year Malila’s father was killed. The family was devastated by his untimely death. The girls stopped attending school, unable to cope with their loss. With the same spirit as the teachers of Mwaiseni, Alice would not be deterred from reaching out to this family. She began visiting them regularly, bringing compassion and hope to a home shaken by grief. She refused to let them forget the love of God, reminding them daily through her presence in their home. Because of her prayers and encouragement, the girls have since returned to school. Malila, now 6 years old, is back attending grade 1.
While Malila’s father can never be replaced, she and her sisters now know the power and the love of their larger family – the one they were accepted into when they encountered Alice and the Mwaiseni teachers and Care Workers.
*Child’s name has been changed
"We are not just trying to keep children alive. We want to break the curse of poverty and early death. The next generation must be God-loving and healthy, from educated families where children are safe."
- George Snyman, Co-Founder, Hands at Work in Africa
More updates from Mwaiseni:
-Maranatha Workshops have taken place across Africa to help our Care Workers process their own traumatic experiences and find a new level of healing. African leaders from Hands at Work came together in August 2014 to celebrate these workshops and seek a clear way forward. Part of the plan includes learning how to better support the Primary Caregivers in Mwaiseni and bringing them similar opportunities for healing.
-In July 2014, the Care Workers in Mwaiseni welcomed 50 more children into their care, all of whom have been identified as the most vulnerable in their community. There are 100 children now under the care of Mwaiseni Community Based Organisation, receiving life-giving services which aim to reduce their vulnerability and increase their well-being