Malawi: Zoe Ministries Giving Hope to Orphans in Madisi

Malawi: Zoe Ministries Giving Hope to Orphans in Madisi

MalawiMalawi News Agency, Lilongwe — ZOE Ministries, a church based organisation in Madisi, Dowa has embarked on an empowerment programme targeting orphans and other vulnerable children (OVCs) below the age of 21.

The empowerment programme, which has been running for the past 8 months, ranges from food security and nutrition, education, spiritual and entrepreneurship, is done not at an orphanage but in the homes of these children by putting them in groups. ZOE Ministries Project Manager, Mercy Njilonje, said ZOE Malawi Ministries, which is being mentored by ZOE Kenya so that it is able to manage its programs in Malawi, has so far helped a lot of them through their said programme.

She said, since its inception in the area, the programme has identified more than 300 OVCs who have been offered school bursary as well as vocational training.

“We have a 3 year program in Malawi and currently we have worked for 8 months in Madisi. However, we have managed to identify 377 orphans and other vulnerable children who have been grouped into 21 groups. Some of them are on school bursary, some entrepreneurship and others in vocation trainings,” said Njilonje.

One of the beneficiaries, Efrida Jozefe, told Malawi News Agency (Mana) in an interview that the ministry has changed her life, saying she is now able to supply bread around Madisi Trading Center and is yet to finish her bakery lessons.

“On my side when I was given an opportunity to be helped I chose bakery lessons since I never went to school and ZOE identified a place for me to learn. It has been 3 months now since I started learning bakery. I am finishing this month but I am able to make bread and sell and as such help my siblings to go to school,” said Jozefe.

Another beneficiary, Alexander Kamwendo, who is undergoing welding lessons, commended the ministry for making him realise his dreams which he thought failed because of lack of financial support.

“I really wanted to do welding since I was young. However, I could not further my education after my secondary school because of financial struggles. But with the coming in of ZOE my dream to become a welder has been realised. It has been six months now since I started learning welding and I am able to do a lot and find something at the end of the day,” said Kamwendo.

Dowa District Social Welfare Officer, John Washali, who visited the said projects, commended ZOE for the job well done.

He advised them to also consider including disabled children in the programs.

“Disabled needy children in Madisi should also be identified and be included in the projects because they also lack so many things in life and have the potential of doing things and became better in life,” said Washali.

ZOE originally started in Rwanda the time of genocide as a relief ministry by the United Methodist Church. Since its inception in Malawi, it has transformed its outreach to orphans and other vulnerable children to a group based empowerment program that provides the resource and skills children meet to overcome poverty.

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