The Story of MalaKOTa Community
In 2005, Dauti and Grace, a local Zambian couple from Kabwe visited Malakota. They were touched by the suffering that the people in this area were experiencing, especially the children. From their own funds, they decided they wanted to empower the most vulnerable children by giving them the opportunity of a basic education. A small community school was built with the help of local church members. In 2007, through the couple’s contact with Hands at Work, Pastor Lawrence came to cast the vision to Malakota: to see the local churches unite as Christ’s body to care for the community’s most vulnerable people. On hearing the Hands at Work vision, volunteers came from all the local churches and began visiting those who were sick. However, by 2009, the focus of Malakota Community Based Organisation shifted almost entirely to the ever growing need of visiting and caring for the orphans and vulnerable children in their community. Care Workers now travel up to 10 kilometres just to reach one child’s home in the most remote parts of Malakota.
Children currently supported: 100
Number of Care Workers: 21
Coordinator Name: joyce
Distance from Local Office: 48 km
Basic Services Started: 2011
With an already low amount of rainfall in 2015, combined with even less this year, streams are drying up and the water levels in the well the community dug recently, have already become low. Many people are experiencing a shortage of food, as their harvests didn’t reach expected yields. This results in even more extreme poverty and an inability to pay for food or school fees. Frequently, out of desperate need, parents resort to marrying off their young daughters and receiving a dowry in an effort to provide some level of food security. Community leaders, though, have recognised the damage early child marriages cause, and have united in efforts to protect the future of young women.
Previously, the nearest reputable clinic was 42 kilometres away, inaccessible for most people. However, in the run up to the presidential election this past August, the government built and opened a clinic in Malakota. This is a major improvement for the community’s access to health care, and an answer to prayer! The local office in Kabwe alongside the Care Workers in Malakota have felt the need to open up a second Care Point for some time, lessening the distance many children must walk each day. The land for this Care Point has been secured from the chief, and the Care Workers have started to dig toilets, using their own resources.
In order to address the most essential needs of an orphaned or vulnerable child in the Malakota community, Hands at Work aims to provide one nutritious meal to each child per day, as well as access to education and basic health care. In 2011, Malakota CBO started by assisting 50 children. By 2013, this number had risen to 100 children. Their goal is to help many more children identified as the most vulnerable in this large rural area. The distance to the nearest government school is completely out of reach for children like Mambwe. Instead, the local Care Workers have established a community school, right in the heart of Malakota. Here, 100 children receive a basic education in a safe environment.
Mambwe* is 10 years old and he lives with his aunt after his mother passed away. His father’s whereabouts are unknown. Mambwe’s aunt, who also cares for four other children, is overwhelmed and struggles to provide financially for her family. She sells charcoal, but the income is never enough to provide fully for the family. Since being identified by his Care Worker, Norah, Mambwe is receiving life-giving services of food and health care, and is now in school studying in grade two.
The Hands at Work office in Kabwe currently supports six 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 Malakota. It also gives administrative support, including helping with funding proposals, monitoring and evaluation, bookkeeping and reporting to donors.