What do you do when a mother of five young children tells you plainly that she cannot afford to visit her son at boarding school nor attend parents evening and in fact is struggling to find enough food to feed her family each day?
Well, I was frankly speechless; I didn’t have the solution. The silence was broken by Yamacani humbly announcing how grateful he is for the privilege of going to secondary school, how the opportunity of a secondary education will be lifechanging for his family and he couldn’t thank us enough. I was struggling to hold it together. Yes, we are funding Yamacani’s education at secondary boarding school through our sponsorship scheme but on the surface we could surely do a whole lot more. Yet what is appropriate? Although we had taken a bag of maize as a gift, providing food on an ongoing basis quickly becomes aid rather than sustainable development, and doesn’t help in the long run. This family is not alone. There are many like this, and things are particularly tough after the crop failure following the floods earlier in the year.
Yet there is a dignity about this young family. We looked around her very small straw roofed home, beautifully located in the hills, about a hour walk from the tar road. There are two rooms for the six of them, no furniture, just mats on the floor to sleep on. Everything was neat and tidy, a few clothes stacked in the corner of one room and some pots and pans in another. Yamacani is the eldest of the five children, at 15 going int his third year at secondary boarding school, a bright young man who can now speak almost fluent English, and is kind hearted conscientious, and honest
Hope4Malawi now sponsor 45 students from poor families through secondary education. If you like to know more please contact sara at firstname.lastname@example.org