Mada is 8 years old and he has lived at Iris Africa Childrens’ Homes now for over two years. He came to live at the Iris mission because there were no relatives able to care for him after his parents died. We were delighted to accept him, and he has brought much joy to our Iris family. Mada is in grade 2, an active boy who loves to swim, climb trees and hunt for spiders. Although a little malnourished when he first arrived at Iris, he is now strong and in excellent health. Mada is very fond of the rice-soy meals. He says the rice is delicious and if he had the chance, he would eat it every day. We are so thankful that we are able to serve the rice-soy meals to our children four to five meals each week. It is an excellent meal for the children of Malawi.
Ndaziona is only six months old. Last August her mother died and now together with her sick father and four older siblings, the family lives at their grandparent’s home in the village of Nchenera in southern Malawi. To make matters worse, Ndaziona’s uncle, the breadwinner for the family, tragically lost his right arm in a crocodile attack while he was fishing in his dug out canoe on the Shire River. Fellow fishermen saved his life by rescuing him from the crocodile and rushing him to a local hospital clinic in Bangula. He survived, but now his hopes to support the family through a fishing business have failed. A short time later, after exhausting all food reserves and saved income, the children were hungry, so their desperate grandfather came to Iris Africa for help. He had nowhere else to turn.
Missionaries and staff, as well as a representative from the district social welfare department visited Ndaziona and her family. The need was obvious, and together a plan of action was implemented beginning with an emergency distribution of Manna Pack fortified rice/soy meals as well as some baby formula for the youngest child. They all ate and were satisfied.
Ndaziona, her siblings and relatives have a long journey before them before they can once again have enough food security to be sustainable on their own. In the meanwhile, Iris Africa will continue to support them with food so that the children can attend school and maintain their good health.
Sadly, in April 2013, Joyce buried her daughter Mercy who suffered for several months before succumbing from complications from an illness. Since Mercy was a single mother, Joyce and her son Moses had no choice but to invite Mercy’s children to live with them in their mud and brick home in Maere Village.
Ethel is only 2 years old and her brother George is 6. George has been mute since birth because of a tongue deformity. Joyce tells us that it can be corrected, but they just have not had any money to get George to the hospital.
Joyce has a small field where she grows sweet potatoes but not nearly enough to support a family of four. Joyce’s son Moses has started his first year of secondary school but doubts whether he will be able to continue the second term because the politician who paid for his first term is no longer lobbying for support.
With rainy season quickly approaching, Joyce’s roof is in desperate need of thatching with new grass to protect the family from the heavy rains. Her grandchildren need clothes. As we sat and talked, the challenges for Joyce appeared to be endless.
Together with the village chief we discussed ways we could work together to assist Joyce and her family. Quickly a team of men from the village were mobilized to fix Joyce’s roof, clothes were donated to the children from a local church pastor, and we provided Joyce with a box of Manna Pack fortified rice/soya meals.
Iris Africa will continue to support Joyce and her family with food, soap, and other basic necessities so that that Moses can attend school, George receives corrective surgery, and Ethel is able to stay safe and healthy.