The Children of Hope Program at Iris Africa takes care of 22 families in the Bangula and Tengani areas of Southern Malawi. Every month between the 15th and the 17th, a truck full of food, soap, bandages and sometimes clothes or blankets exits our front gate to visit with these special families that have taken in their orphaned relatives. Many are gogos (grandmothers or grandfathers) who have started to raise their grandchildren or their brother or sister’s grandchildren because the children’s parents have died usually due to sickness, a fatal accident, or during childbirth. The resposibility of caring for and feeding more children than they are already responsible for puts strain on these gogos who are barely surviving themselves. In their elderly years, they are no longer able to garden (farm the land) or even some walk to get water. They have a heavy burden but they will not send these children who are family away. The bond of family in Southern Malawi is phenomenal. It is similar to that army saying, “no man left behind”. There is nothing quite like it. Each day is a battle, it often presents a new challenge in their fight against hunger.
Many of these families do say that if it weren’t for the monthly assistance from Iris, then heaven forbid many of the mouths they are taking care of would be desperately hungry or even dead. The Children of Hope program is running because we recognise that these children who have lost their parents have family members who are willing to care for them. We have chosen to assist them in their village homes, so they may stay with their family as long as possible.
Click on the family name in the above drop down menu from “Changed Lives” to read their personal stories.
Note: we have changed the names of the individuals and ask that you do not reproduce this information anywhere without first receiving permission from our Director, David Morrison. Thank You!