Life is hard in Africa, especially in the rural villages. But while food and jobs are both scarce, ingenuity is not. The Youth Clubs of Nkotakota have taken to pumping new life into their community, literally. Working together as a team, with handmade hoes and shovels, they are building fishing ponds. One shovel of dirt at a time they work side by side, to build a better future for themselves and their communities.
Once the ponds are dug, they stock them with fish, but the work does not stop there. Water easily evaporates in the hot African sun, so they dig a well nearby and pump more water in. It’s all done one foot at a time. The digging and the pumping. There is no electricity in these areas, so they pump the water in using their feet. It takes time, it’s hard work, but they don’t give up. They don’t give up on the fish, and they don’t give up on their future.
The fish grow rapidly, and when fully grown they can be sold, or eaten if times get tough. Some of the clubs are using a portion of the money to fund ponds for other clubs. It’s another example of how Y-Malawi partners are using sustainable development practices to make a difference.
Is sponsorship making any difference for women and girls? To answer that question it’s best to listen to what they have to say.
“I am very grateful for the support, honestly, it is only the Lord who can define my joy, at least me and my granny will take a sip of tea after a long time. May the Lord bless my sponsors.”
“I am so grateful for this help. In the first place when they were taking our names I was thinking that it was just a lie, but now that I am able to be supported, I am happy and I will right away wash my blanket and my clothes with the soap that I have received today. We will also have a good breakfast with this sugar tomorrow morning.”
“I am struggling with this child, it is difficult for me to take care of the baby full time. But, I thank God for the support that I have received today from Y-Malawi. I will be able to prepare porridge for my baby and I will also be able to wash the clothes of my baby using the soap that I have received today.”
“I am happy to receive the soap and sugar. I will wash the clothes of my child and granny whom I stay with. We will be able to drink tea today because of this sugar after a long time without taking tea.”
“I am very happy for the help. You see people of my age, we need warmth always, so this blanket will help me so much and here is soap that will help me to take care of this blanket. I will also be able to drink tea with this pack of sugar. May the Lord bless my sponsors.” (then she sings a song of praise)
Want to get involved? You can make a big difference, and it doesn’t take much. Just click Sponsor a Woman at www.y-malawi.org
In Malawi, the facts tell the story.
- 42% of girls are married before age 18.
- 9% are married before age 15.
- 3 out of 4 girls have children before age 18.
- 40% of women report domestic violence (more assumed).
Why does this happen?
- Poverty, a lack of hope for other options.
- Lack of education.
- Abuse by leaders and in the workplace.
- Harmful cultural and religious practices.
They keys to change are education and empowerment. Y-Malawi is working hard to empower girls and keep them in school. Yet, change needs to happen in the communities these girl live in too. With the cooperation of local Pastors, village Chiefs, and other community leaders education is taking place. Leaders are gaining a new awareness of the harm child marriages bring. They are fighting resistance to reporting abuses, and they are leading their people to a brighter future.
Since January, 32 girls have been rescued from child marriages, and countless others have been able to avoid this harmful practice. The victories are small, and there is so much more to do, but these girls now have hope for the future.
Village Chiefs making new laws Pastors working on awareness
Can the Church change the world? We believe it can!
In the Nkhotakota District, 52 of 59 local village churches have joined hands to create lasting change. Organized by Y-Malawi partner World Relief, they are coming together to gain doctrinal training that most have never had access to. Yet, coming together is about more than learning the truths of the Bible.
In coming together these churches are discussing and prioritizing the needs of their communities. Not just spiritual, but physical needs too. They are discussing how local churches can bind together to create change that benefits and lasts. Working together they have begun “seed projects.” These are small projects like building proper latrines, fixing homes, and other small community development. Their value goes beyond physical improvements. They demonstrate the love of Jesus. They demonstrate how His Church cares and can make a difference in the lives of people and community. They demonstrate how the Church can be the catalyst for development that actually comes from within the community itself, as opposed to dependency on outside resources.
Can the Church change the world? It already has.
“I think Jesus came to visit me today!” That’s what Tiyanjane told her Field Officer during their last visit. Tiyanjane is one of those sponsored in Y-Malawi’s new program to empower women and girls. She is 11 years old. On the first visit the Field Officer found her unable to attend school for lack of a uniform and supplies. Her family is very poor. A burlap sack laid on the dirt, was her bed. She often complained of stomach aches, and the family had little food.
On the next visit Tiyanjane traveled to town. She had never been there. She was examined at a clinic and received help for her stomach issues. A school uniform and school supplies were purchased, even a full bag of Maize for the family.
Without going to school, Tiyanjane would be a candidate for marriage within a year or two. Now she has a smile on her face and hope for a better future. We are so excited about what God is doing in Malawi. We are just getting started, our goal is to empower thousands of girls and women like Tiyanjane.
You can learn more by simply clicking the Empowering Girls and Women tab.
SCHOOL SUPPLIES AND FOOD A NEW SCHOOL UNIFORM