Meals of Hope – Giving hope to street children in Nancholi, Blantyre

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.

 

Children of Chimwemwe Center receiving the Meals of Hope and soap

 

Charles, the youngest kid at the center dancing with Karen Nkhata (Nancholi Health Coordinator) and one of the Child protection officers in appreciation for the Meals

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, the youngest kid at the center

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.

 

One of the boys giving a voe of thanks

“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

 

Mercy explaining to the children more about the Meals of Hope and the importance of proper hygiene

 

Charles praying after receiving the Meals of Hope

“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 children taking the Meals of Hope to their storage area

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About wandikweza

We are a team of nurses, midwives and a public health practitioners working in limited resource settings
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