Madisi in Dowa district is one of the many communities that has been seriously affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Malawi. The epidemic has significantly increased the number of vulnerable children. The estimated number of orphans in Madisi is 10,000. It is against this background that the Malawi United Methodist Church (MUMC), The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection (REZ) and ZOE ministry aim at improving the lives of children made vulnerable by the HIV/AIDS epidemic, poverty, and other socio-economic factors.
The program which started in January, 2013 has identified 377 OVCs households approximately 1,800 children with their ages ranging from 1 – 21 years. They are grouped in 16 working groups. According to the ZOE model, it gives hope to orphans and breaking the cycle of poverty in Africa within 3 years and Malawi is privileged to be one of the chosen countries. ZOE transforms lives of OVCs in their own living environment by providing them with skills, trainings and resources to make them independent and being able to take care of their own needs. It is not about relief but development.
The program is also advocating for right of OVCs and stigma reduction.
By Mercy Chikhosi Nyirongo