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22 February 2019 / Read more

Saved by the spirit level

When one is married and has a kid but has no means of earning a living, the social-economic welfare of his family figuratively dangles on a life support unit. Taking care of a wife and kid when one cannot even manage to buy a packet of sugar can be a daunting experience. In fact, it is impossible to put a kid through school when the parent cannot afford even to buy a bar of soap for laundry or bathing. However, that is exactly what George, a young man in his early twenties went through. George is married and he has a five-year-old kid. George lives in the remotest part of a village located deep in the outskirts of Dowa District, which lies approximately 50 kilometres from Lilongwe, the Capital of Malawi. He comes from a community where 46 percent of the people live in extreme poverty and a large number of young men and women drop out of school.

12 February 2019 / Read more

Away from the comfort zone

It started with the death of his father. That was when Comfort was just a little boy aged nine years and still in primary school. Comfort’s father had battled a long illness and when he passed on, Comfort’s world came crashing down. In the few days following the burial of his father, Comfort, her mother […]

23 January 2019 / Read more

The 15 year old parent

She is 15 but at that age, she is already tasked with the huge responsibility of taking care of her two brothers and one sister, all alone. She is just a kid but at 15 she plays the role of both the head of a family and a parent to her siblings. To make matters worse, she just started her first class in secondary school and she still has three more years to complete her education which means that she has to juggle between school and parenting her siblings. It is a formidable experience but she has no alternative.

16 January 2019 / Read more

A smile for Rosa

A dangerous ethnic feud between her tribe and a rival one led to the murder of Rosa’s husband and the fleeing of Rosa from Burundi to Malawi. Even though she escaped her home country over a decade ago, it is apparent that the emotional scars and mental anguish that the murder of her husband caused are still stubbornly imprinted in her mind. Rosa narrates the painful story with trembling in her voice. She recalls the details vividly. It was one terrible night when assailants invaded Rosa and her husband’s house and abducted the husband before her very eyes. They disappeared with him in the dead of night amid her screams of terror and pleas for help.

22 November 2018 / Read more

From the mud hut to a palace

For an individual living in the remotest part of Dowa district and struggling to keep his family going financially, Kondwani never thought he would be able to be ‘his own boss’. The idea that one day he would manage to earn more than 100 thousand Kwacha and live in a decent house never occurred to […]

22 November 2018 / Read more

When conflicts arise, call Jean

We take a dirt road from the main road and drive towards a steep descent with a narrow bridge. The sight is nostalgic – there are small houses lined up along the gravel road and some can be seen scattered orderly on some distant hills. The blue cloudless skies add beauty to this serene morning scenery. We pass some livestock – mostly goats and cows grazing quietly on pastures of deep green grass growing neatly on both sides of the road. A couple of herds boys lie lazily, chatting silently while cautiously watching the animals. They cheerfully wave at us and loudly whistle at our car as we rush past them.

8 November 2018 / Read more

Burning the forest to rescue the environmentalist

He talks about the environment with such lit passion that it is easy to see how he loves the field of environmental conservation. When he goes into precise details explaining with clear examples how lots of local forests are becoming endangered and the accelerating rates of uncontrolled pollution in rivers, one can note a thin veil of anger in his sentiments – proof that he is really keen on preserving the nature. He is on his way to becoming the Malawian version of Al Gore.

29 October 2018 / Read more

The sad tale of a hopeless father

When Ramazani fled Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in 2010 and headed towards Malawi for refuge, little did he know that he was moving towards a life of misery. As soon as Ramazan, his wife and two kids arrived in Malawi’s largest refugee camp, Dzaleka, he immediately realized how hard his new life in the new country would be.

12 October 2018 / Read more

From the ashes rose hope

At age 3 and when she was still in pre-school, Alinafe’s father was killed in a tragic car accident. The tragedy disrupted Alinafe’s education right from the early stages and resulted in a long struggle with her studies. Alinafe’s father was the breadwinner of the household and everything in the family depended on him.

19 September 2018 / Read more

The angel on a sewing machine

She is jovial, smiles a lot and is a strong-willed young woman who has the determination to excel in life. In spite of living with a disability which limits her mobility and would otherwise have deterred her from engaging in any physical work, she never let this bring her down. She can grab a hoe and cultivate maize, she can do laundry and she is able to cook – all on her own.

5 September 2018 / Read more

Once a slave

Moza Alima is a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). She fled insecurities and conflicts from her home country some years ago. It all started with a conflict that erupted in between her tribe and a rival tribe. During the fracas, her father and husband were killed by assailants because of their connections to the opponent tribe.

21 August 2018 / Read more

Transforming individuals, changing communities

His carpentry shed stands opposite a football pitch, right in the heart of a village a few miles from the main road. It is small and roofed with some grass that is slowly turning grey due to a prolonged stay. A high bench made of rugged timber sits in the middle of the shed. From a distance, the place might seem abandoned and, to a certain extent, worthless but this small shabby carpentry shed is what is paying the bills for Maliko.