Malawi banned children from street begging in an effort to protect children. Children in Malawi may run away from home to the streets to look for food. This led to the birth of Chimwemwe Children’s Centre which takes care of these vulnerable children. The center has 23 children (5 girls and 23 boys).
Extreme poverty in the rural area, consequences of broken families, strains of living as a child of single parent, family breakdown due to polygamy, neglect and cruelty by stepmother and violence or exploitation at home. Additionally, these factors force the children to run away from home and come to the cities if they lived in rural areas. Escaping from the harshness of life, these children lead an ‘independent’ life begging or wandering in the streets.
Chimwemwe Children’s Center got the children from the streets of Blantyre and gave them a shelter in Nancholi. It is working to rehabilitate these destitute children. According to the Director, Mr Macdonald Nkhutabasa, their main challenge is to feed these children. In response to this, the Malawi United Methodist Church (MUMC), The United Methodist of the Resurrection (Rez) and Belmont United Methodist church donated Meals of Hope (nutritious combination of rice, beans and soya), Vaseline, laundry and bathing soap to the children.
Chimwemwe Children Center sends the children to Namasimba Primary school knowing that giving the children money will not make them any good but giving them a future will do.
Charles, 5 years old and his 8 year old brother were abandoned by their parents and found themselves at Chimwemwe. He is in standard one at Namasimba Primary School.
“Thank you that you decided to come here and help us. There are a lot of children out there but you chose us. We do not take this for granted. May the LORD bless you. Thank you for being a mother to us. May this not be the first and the last,” appreciated Elias
“Lord, bless the people who made this possible, for us to have food to eat. Bless them LORD, bless them LORD, give them their wishes, give them long life,” prayed Charles.
The Meals of Hope will provide the children with a healthy and sufficient diet. The laundry and bathing soap will help to promote good hygiene. DO NOT GIVE THEM MONEY, GIVE THEM A FUTURE!
A street child’s life is rough and lonely, rehabilitate them. The United Methodist church plans to support Chimwemwe Children’s Center with health education, trainings and the WORD of GOD as per the director’s request.
By Mercy Chikhosi Nyirongo