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Zinenani Finds Hope in Malawi

Impact Stories, Malawi

In Malawi, at just 15 years old, Zinenani took over the overwhelming responsibility of caring for her younger siblings, Talandirani, aged 7, and Thomas, aged 6. Their world was devastated in 2021 by the loss of their mother, and shortly after that, their father left for Mozambique and has not been in contact since. Zinenani was left to carry the responsibilities of running their household. 

Zinenani and her siblings found support through the PWS&D-supported OVC program.

“Though we stay in a roofed house, we have been going through a lot of challenges. I am the elder sister to my little brother and sister, and they depend on me for support. I go out to fetch food for us to eat, I struggle to find food, and sometimes we go together to do piecework. We haven’t attended classes frequently because of this. Members of the community sometimes support us, but not regularly. We lack basic needs such as soap and clothes, and we don’t have enough bedding to use,” Zinenani shares. 

A community-based program for orphans and vulnerable children (OVC), run by the Mulanje Mission Hospital, helps provide necessities like infant formula and therapeutic porridge to aid with malnutrition. Additionally, the program provides free medical care and essential resources for children to attend primary and secondary school, such as uniforms, shoes and school bags. Vocational skills training is also offered to out-of-school boys and girls, which provides valuable opportunities to develop skills for the future.

Zinenani and her two siblings were enrolled in the OVC program, receiving this vital health, education and livelihood support. This program not only lessens the difficult responsibilities Zinenani has assumed as the head of the household but also offers her and her siblings a chance to regain some normalcy as a teenager and as kids, despite the challenges they are facing “I thank God that Mulanje Mission Hospital recruited us in the OVC program,” Zinenani expresses. “We thank the donors who are helping children who are so needy and alone.”

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