Monday, May 25, 2009

Day Five: Visiting Orphans at FOMCO

This morning we visited Friends of Mzuzu Community Organization (FOMCO) to help feed 160 Vulnerable and Orphaned Children (VOC). This is one of the many social institutions supported by CitiHope International which provides nutritious meals to over 10,000 children a day. It was a shocking, disturbing, moving, and at the same time an inspirational and joyful experience to witness how Malawians care for their orphans. Instead of institutional orphanages, they organize and support extended families and guardians who bring the children in their care daily to a Care Center and Feeding Station that provides food, education and recreation through community volunteers.

Last time we were here there was a rain storm, and we collected enough funds to repair the leaking roof of one of the rooms used for feeding the kids. This year we brought the kids two soccer balls and pumps, school supplies, and promised to make another donation to the long awaited classroom still under construction.

During the afternoon we hiked a long ways to visit a 21 year old girl and her younger sister whose parents both had died. They had been living in a small mud brick house until last February when a week long rain storm blew the house down (walls caved in and the roof blew off). Their pastor invited us to assess the damage and see if this was a construction project we might consider sponsoring.

Later this afternoon we went shopping for camping supplies: blankets, mosquito nets, and food provisions for our 2 day trip to remote villages. Tomorrow we will travel 3 hours to the Ethini Village where we plan to install a new well for 1000 villagers, and then stay overnight in the Village of Zowe where we installed a well for 1500 villagers in 2007.