November 2009: Chimwemwe transport problems are over, thanks to a donation made by Amanda Fleet from St Andrews, Scotland.
Since January 2009, Macdonald Nkhutabasa, the only full time worker for the programme, has been walking long distances meeting children and their families. There are many children who come onto the streets of Blantyre to beg for food, money and clothes. Chimwemwe supports these children to access education by providing them with learning materials. Most of the children living on the streets come from communities surrounding Blantyre city, the commercial capital of Malawi.
Working with children on the streets is very important to their lives, but it is more ideal to work with children before they end up on the streets. Chimwemwe focuses on dealing with causes rather than symptoms of the problems faced by children.
Currently, Chimwemwe is working in Ndirande, Mbayani, Bangwe, Chilobwe, Zingwangwa and Soche. Community’s leaders from these communities, through the support from Chimwemwe, have formed committees to support orphans and other vulnerable children. Macdonald conducts follow up visits to these places to see how they are functioning, monitoring and evaluating impact.
Reaching the communities was both tiring, expensive and time-consuming until the organization got a bicycle from Amanda, the project’s ambassador in the United Kingdom.
“Life was hard, I had to cover over 50 kilometers each day to supervise how the communities were fairing. This was very difficult and time consuming until we got this precious gift. Our life will now be a lot easier”. Macdonald says.
Chimwemwe is expecting to enroll over 30 children back in school at the start of new term in December.