PRACTICAL ASSISTANCE FOR DISADVANTAGED CHILDREN IN MALAWI AND THEIR FAMILIES
A practical, holistic approach
ChildCare Malawi is a small UK-based charity established in 2012, which has evolved gradually from a long distance collaboration between Clare Clements in England and Joyce Maunde in Malawi. After Clare came across the story of a boy called Fredson, who is unable to walk due to untreated clubfeet, and Joyce tracked him down at his home in Zomba, we had a wheelchair made for him in the Orthopaedic Centre workshop at the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) in Blantyre.
Having discovered that this is the only facility in the entire country making bespoke children’s wheelchairs that are robust enough to withstand the rigours of the rough local terrain, we were inspired to use Fredson’s case as a springboard to help other children with restricted mobility. There is no government funding available for this service and the cost of a wheelchair is beyond the means of most families. Although life is tough for the vast majority of Malawians living in one of the poorest countries in the world, making ends meet is even more challenging for those with disabled children.
As it soon became apparent that wheelchair repairs were also prohibitively expensive and that a sustainable solution would have to include ongoing assistance for families living from hand to mouth, we create individual support packages designed to raise aspirations and break the demoralising, repetitive cycle of abject poverty. ChildCare Malawi is fully committed to ensuring that all the children in each family have the basic essentials they need for school and their families are supplied with a small, fuel-efficient cooking stove, solar lights and a basic mobile phone. This significantly reduces their household expenses, enabling them to spend more of their hard-earned income on a healthier, more varied diet and crucial home improvements.
The distribution of nearly new children’s clothes donated in the UK, and fuel-efficient cooking stoves and solar lights purchased in Malawi to support local businesses, have developed into additional projects to benefit numerous other disadvantaged children and their families. Children in families with special needs are provided with modest child support grants to ensure that they have the essential items required for school.
ChildCare Malawi is unable to register with the Charity Commission because our annual income is less than £5,000. However, we are registered as
a Small Charity with HMRC, which entitles us to claim Gift Aid on eligible donations.
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March - December 2020
Our projects are currently on hold due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic safety measures in place regarding travel in Malawi.
Five family liaison visits to deliver child support grants to sixteen children for this term.
Distribution of children’s clothes, bedding and other items.
Travelling expenses provided for two children to access medical treatment in Blantyre.
Distribution of toys to children with special educational needs.
Wheelchair provided for 12-year-old Manesi.
June - July 2019
Five family liaison visits to deliver child support grants to eighteen children for this term.
Three family liaison visits to deliver child support grants to eleven children for this term.
Distribution of solar lights.
Two family liaison visits to deliver child support grants to nine children for this term.
September - October 2018
Distribution of children’s clothes.