For years now, we have been committed to sending food and hope to vulnerable children in Malawi. We have had the honor of partnering with Iris Africa who has been our hands and feet on the ground, distributing the food to those in need.
Each month, food is given to vulnerable households, schools and children’s homes. It helps sustain orphans and the elderly. It gives hope to caretakers who struggle to fill hungry bellies because of poverty and poor weather conditions. According to a recent report from Iris Africa, this food feeds families likes Alice’s.
Alice is the single mother of three young children, and she is also the caregiver for her four orphaned brothers. As the eldest in the family when her parents died, Alice was expected to take her brothers in. She lives in the village of Bangula in a house Iris ministries helped her build. She works hard, but just can’t produce enough food or income for the family to live without assistance. All of her children attend the local Bangula Primary School which is a great accomplishment. We want those children to remain in school but many in their situation stop attending school to help with farming.
Alice has a large plot of land where she grows maize and millet. This year’s rainy season started out well; seeds germinated and fields are looking good, but the environment here in southern Malawi is harsh. Every year Alice hopes that she’s going to have a large harvest, but the area is prone to periods of drought during significant growing periods. She can’t remember the last time there was a favorable season for farming. Yet, she tries again, and again, producing a small amount each year.
Alice is grateful for the rice/soy meals that provide her family with good nutrition, especially at this time of the year, during the growing season, when last year’s harvest has already been consumed. The assistance is enough to keep her children and brothers attending school and she is hopeful that one day, their perseverance will pay off.
You have the ability to love and offer hope to someone you may never meet on this side of heaven. Through strategic partnerships, we are doing just that.
We have had the privilege of partnering with Iris Africa who currently has 1,200 vulnerable households registered for their Iris Africa Feeding Program in Malawi. Each month, they distribute food to help these families survive. These households include the elderly, people sick with HIV/AIDs, widows, orphans, the blind and disabled. The majority of these households include grandmothers who are caring for their orphaned grandchildren.
Because of the generosity of people like you, families like Joyce’s are receiving food in the midst of their desperate living situations:
Joyce and her five children share a small mud-brick and grass-roofed house in the southern Malawi village of Tengani. We heard about this family’s desperate situation from a concerned neighbor. After the death of Joyce’s husband, life became intolerable. Now they are alone, and desperately poor. Their possessions are few. They have a bucket, a small cooking pot, a mat to sleep on, and the clothes they wear. They survive from the money Joyce is able to earn by tending other people’s gardens. The little she earns buys a basin of maize, enough to eat once a day. The children skip school so they can cultivate the family garden where they grow sweet potatoes. They also collect firewood and sell small bundles at the market. They would like to go to school but they don’t have the time or the money for uniforms. We immediately provided this family with fortified rice-soy meals and will be establishing an action plan to help lead this family out of crisis.
Thank you to everyone who helps make missions like these possible. Let’s do more. Donate today, so we can feed more families like Joyce’s.
Did you know you can impact the life of a mother in Malawi? You can give hope to the hungry and hurting in Africa. And you don’t need a passport to do it.
Thanks to people just like you who have partnered with us, women like Suma are receiving food and hope despite living through difficult circumstances. Here’s a portion of her story:
My name is Suma, I come from Mong’ongo village. I am about 34 years old, and I am living with HIV even though I was only married to my husband before he vanished. Now my children and me live with my parents. I walk to CLI Hospital often to get the medicine I need to survive, and two years ago when I had my second child, I came to here where they gave medicines to keep my son from getting the disease while developing in pregnancy. In recent times I have been struggling to take all of my medicines because without enough food, the medicine ejects from the body. I was getting sick and feeling weak. So I asked a nurse at CLI Hospital if they could give me food, and she gave me food to eat so I could take the medicine right away, and others brought some small items to me to take home. Then today I arrived for our meeting (HIV+ community support group) and they had big boxes of food on the tables in the hospital courtyard waiting for us. Now I can take home this dried food and cook meals for myself to take my medicine at all times. I thank the supporters of CLI Hospital, your food gift will allow me to take the medicine I need to live here, most of us do not have hope outside of this place, but with your food we can take it home so hope remains with us. I thank you for your kindness and love done to us.
We give thanks for our partner organizations Gleanings for the Hungry and Iris Africa who are on the ground, distributing the food we send and sharing the love of Christ to those who receive it. And we give thanks for all who donate, so we can continue to feed children, orphans, widows, single mothers, struggling fathers, communities living in drought and families like the Bandas:
When a family loses their father and mother in the rural villages of Malawi children suffer terribly. The Banda family experienced great loss, and have had to fight to survive. Mr. Banda died of illness in 2010, leaving their mother Rose alone to raise her five children. Last year, Rose drowned in a boating accident when she was attempting to cross the Shire River. Devastated and alone, the four younger children moved to the home of their grandmother, the only known surviving relative who could look after them. Sadly, after a short time, she also passed away. Chimwemwe and Mphatso are 5 year old twins. Peter is 8 years old and their older sister Grace is 14 years old.
Francis, a young man newly married, as the oldest brother in the Banda family, graciously took his brothers and sister with him to Jambo Village, and built a mud brick and grass-roof hut. It meant another move, at least they were together. Francis has one young child of his own and is unemployed, and was already finding it hard to provide enough for his wife and child. He has a small garden where he grows sweet potato and maize, but farming conditions have been so challenging, that he has had little harvest. He tried his best, but soon it was evident that he was unable to provide.
Chimwemwe, one of the twins, became sick with malaria and was admitted at the local health clinic and received intravenous drip and medications, however Francis had no money. He had to go around town begging until he found enough to pay the bill.
Iris Africa heard about their desperate situation. We arrived at their home when Chimwemwe was still recovering from malaria. The children had nothing. They wore dirty ripped clothes, were malnourished, and hungry. They didn’t even have a bar of soap. We immediately took action by providing them with rice/soy meals. The food became their main meal twice a day for weeks. We found them some new clothes, soap, and school uniforms and supplies.
After a period of absence from school, they now had uniforms and returned to class. Their bodies gained strength by eating the meals daily, especially Chimwemwe who was weak after being so sick. Local Social Welfare authorities were informed and the staff at Iris Africa continued to monitor their lives and re-supply them with food and other essential supplies. This food literally saved the lives of these four beautiful children.
We celebrate this work that has been done and these lives that have been saved. But there is more yet to do. Join with us and let’s feed the hungry together.
1 out of every 4 children between 5 and 14 years of age in Malawi are engaged in child labor. That’s close to 1 million children.
Here are a few more astounding facts that our partners, Iris Africa in Malawi, reported to us:
- Planting and harvesting crops, catching and selling fish, quarrying and mining are reasons to keep children home from school.
- Some children participate in hazardous work, such as producing tobacco, where they risk illness from nicotine absorption and exposure to pesticides.
- Human trafficking of children for labor in Malawi is both internal and external.
- Typically boys are trafficked to work tobacco farms or to fish in Tanzania where they are forced to work in debt bondage without the resources to return home or provide for themselves.
- Girls from rural areas are enticed with gifts from brothel owners who later force them to engage in commercial sex.
So how can your donations to Feeding The Nations prevent child labor and human trafficking? Because each meal we are able to provide to places like Iris Africa is another reason for a family to send their child to school to learn and be fed, instead of into a field or a debt bondage or a brothel.
Your donations matter. They matter to these children pictured above. And they matter to the others who aren’t pictured here, but who have and will receive food and the love of Christ through what we do.