Sacrificing for Their Community

Chinkhu, Malawi

Facing life without her parents and her siblings could have brought a life full of grief and loneliness to Geradine. Taking on the responsibility of caring for an emotionally wounded girl could have overwhelmed her aunt. 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. Their focus is upon finding and caring for children who are desperate, and when they went looking, they found Geradine.

As these men and women, volunteer Care Workers, began caring for Geradine, she began to understand that they truly wanted to know her name, and her story, and desired to care for her like family. They began by giving her a daily meal of soft porridge, which they were cooking from their own resources. Each day, the Care Workers would bring one cup of ground maize from their own home, sacrificing from their own families in order to give to their community.

Today, Hands at Work is supporting the Care Workers of Chinkhu. Geradine and 49 other children now eat a daily nutritious meal of nshima and vegetables. When the Care Workers asked Geradine what she wants to be when she is older, she responded with a bright, smiling face saying, “I want to be a teacher”. Although Geradine did not give a reason for wanting to be a teacher, the Care Workers believe it is because she admires and loves her teacher at school who is helping her to read and write.

Being part of Chisanalalo Community Based Organisation has given hope and a future to a girl who lost much very early in her life. Geradine is improving in her health as each week goes by. Her body is becoming strong through the consistent food she now eats and the health care support that the Care Workers make available to her when needed. She is also growing in her emotional health, too. The Care Workers are taking time to befriend Geradine and her aunt and encourage a life of hope and happiness.

Updates from Chisanalalo Community Based Organisation:

-Care Workers seek out and care for the most vulnerable children by visiting their homes, but each community also needs a care point, a safe place where the children and their caregivers gather together, share their struggles and carry one another’s burdens—this is called a Life Centre. 50 children visit the 2 Chinkhu Life Centres daily to play, receive care and eat a nutritious meal.

-Care Workers from Chisanalalo Community Based Organisation have been caring for children in their community since 2010, from their own resources. To further build on the amazing foundation set by these men and women, Hands at Work provided funding for 50 children to receive basic services, including a nutritious meal every day from April 2014. These children have been identified as the most vulnerable in their community. The Care Workers have assessed each child’s needs and helped them accordingly. Over the past quarter, all children received a mosquito net, deworming medication, school supplies, toothbrushes, and those in need received a sleeping mat.