Chikuni is a small-scale farmer living in one of the remotest villages in Dowa District, about 50 kilometres from Malawi’s Capital, Lilongwe. In fact, farming has been a tradition in his family because his parents are small-scale farmers too and actually that is where Chikuni took after. The family grows tobacco, tomato, maize and different other varieties of crops. However, farming is unpredictable. Price fluctuations, erratic rainfalls and costly farm inputs all make the field of agriculture a risky business. And to small-scale farmers who mostly depend on the business for survival, sustaining farms at times becomes a bumpy ride.
Her name is Umuhoza which is Kinyarwanda meaning ‘Comforter’. Ironically though, the experience the young woman and her family have passed through in life has not been exactly comforting to her. For one, she is a refugee and that in itself is a huge discomfort. Her education too, from primary to secondary school, has been marred by a great deal of unbearable challenges. There was a time that Umuhoza gave up all hope and believed that she could never make it. Worse still, Umuhoza’s family are living in a setting where there are restrictions barring refugees from getting employed or running a business and this makes it extremely difficult for them to survive because it limits their sources of financial income.
“God does not entertain ignorance”, were the words that Vincent Arnold hang on to, and which ultimately became his motto. They were the five words that his pastor told him long before Vincent followed the man’s footsteps. Today, Vincent is a pastor at one of the branches of Malawi Assemblies of God Church in Dowa and he also works as a Librarian for our Bible school. Until now, Vincent still lives by those words and they are what encouraged him to join a Bible school.
Living in a refugee camp is a tough experience and Butoto Cloncho is one of the numerous displaced people who bear witness to the ordeal. He has passed through what he describes as “an agonizing life” in Dzaleka refugee camp. He arrived in the camp in 2015 from DR Congo, having travelled through Burundi and Tanzania. Butoto had left his family back in DRC and he was literary alone with no relatives to welcome and give him shelter in the new home. He was a total stranger in a strange country and surrounded by new faces that hardly knew him.
Kiriza remembers one incident when rebels went to his house, killed his father and 2 of his younger brothers. It was the main reason behind his departure from Congo to Malawi. In 2012, Kiriza arrived in Malawi’s Dzaleka refugee camp. Three years later, his mother died. Life in the camp was very difficult – he […]
The year is 2016. Gelevaziyo Benson, a young man in his mid-twenties has just completed his secondary school education and is waiting for the next step. That next step is to study the art of building houses. That is his long-term passion. His uncle is in the building trade and the structures he builds, coupled with the money he makes from the career is Gelevaziyo’s source of inspiration. He wants to emulate the uncle. With this high ambitions in mind, the young man looks forward to a rewarding career, just like his uncle.
Dzaleka refugee camp holds close to 40,000 refugees from different countries. The most challenging experience for these people is not only food – which is often provided in rations – but also shelter and a place to stay. Obviously, without a roof above one’s head, life becomes unbearable and one is forced to live as a destitute. Some refugees in the camp have the financial means to build their own houses. But imagine those refugees who are living with a disability and cannot manage to build a house.
She sits quietly behind the manual sewing machine, her skilled hands moving back and forth on the fabric she is working on. She pauses briefly to adjust the needle and thread perched on the machine then her feet go back to pedaling the machine like a cyclist. All her concentration is deeply focused on the beautiful multi-flowered cloth which is slowly taking shape under the long sharp needle of the sewing machine.
Every success has a story behind it. It could be an ordinary story, a cheerful tale or a story with a downright emotional background. The tale of Blessings Mpotalinja, a young man aged 25, is intertwined with twists and turns and painful experiences. Blessings is a carpentry graduate of our vocational training programme. He completed […]