In Malawi the biggest victims of COVID-19 containment measures have been the children. Deprived of an education since March meant that many children were also deprived of a hot daily meal at school. Our partners in Malawi responded by providing emergency food packs to prevent a hunger calamity. Now schools have reopened but school feeding is still under review- and therefore still not permitted within school grounds.
What does this mean for families with small children? With food prices rising and food scarcity being reported the most vulnerable families are even worse than before. Many families are now rationing meals to one meal a day- or worse.
The situation for families with small children has been made worse by fears that children will not be accepted into primary school without having attended nursery school. As a result many CBCC nurseries are seeing large numbers of small children being enrolled in the last few weeks. These children, many attending nursery for the first time, are coming to school hungry. With no school meal being cooked on site that means that they go without food for the entire school day.
The Seibo team in Malawi are using donations received now to provide direct food assistance to the most vulnerable to ensure children receive a breakfast at home before attending school. What follows are some of the stories of parents who have received assistance from our donors in Bulgaria, the UK & Japan. We are extremely grateful for the support but these stories tell only part of the problem. If you can help us please do- even a small donation can make a big difference. Thank you.
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The Story of Edina
Edina is mother to Trevor (1) and Lister (6) and sells charcoal together with her husband for a living. Trevor enrolled for nursery in November and this is his first time to receive ‘Phala’ – the food usually cooked as a school meal. Edina is certain the phala will improve the health of her child and mentioned, “I have been cooking Mgaiwa porridge for my child and I know that ‘Likuni Phala’ is more nutritious”.
The Story of Ida
Ida is mother to Belita (3) and Sakina (1). Belita started nursery school in November at Makapwa CBCC and is of the view that Likuni Phala will help her child grow healthy. Ida and her husband do part-time work- farming for other people or selling charcoal to make a living. Ida kindly added “May the Lord bless the Seibo donors!”
The Story of Mercy
Mercy, from Kajawo village, is a mother of 5 children. Her kids Owen & Ellen attend Makapwa CBCC while Mercy stays at home minding her 5-month old baby. Her husband sells charcoal in Chilomoni which is the family’s main source of income. There is never enough to feed a family of 7 meals every day.
“I am very happy to have received this Likuni Phala for my kids. Here in the village, breakfast every day is a luxury. This phala mean a lot to my children. I will be cooking for them as advised. I would like to thank for the support you give us here. May God bless its donors so that they are able to keep on providing for us and others who need help”
The Story of Fyness
Fyness is the mother to Exteva who is her only child. Born in July 2018, Exteva has just recently enrolled in nursery. Fyness was very happy to receive the phala and mentioned her monthly income is around MK 12,000 and most of the time finds it difficult to meet all basic needs, including providing a nutritious breakfast for her child.
The Story of Gladys
Gladys Leston is a mother of 2 children; Malaya who attends Chilomoni LEA Primary and her youngest Costance who attends Tiyamike CBCC. Gladys is a stay-at-home mom while her father is a minibus conductor who works 4 days a week and earns MK3000 a day. They live in a rented house for which they pay MK20,000 per month. “I am very grateful to Seibo Maria for providing us with this Likuni Phala.The Likuni Phala will help us a lot, my kid will grow well. Most of the times in the morning they usually have nothing to eat. I will make sure that Constance takes her phala every day before going to school”
The Story of Nduzani
Nduzani is mom to two kids- Tadala & Tabitha. Tadala attends a local primary school while Tabitha attends nursery. Nduzani collects river-sand from the banks of local rivers and sells to people who have construction projects. Her husband works as a guard at a local church for which he is paid MK35,000 per month. “I am more than thankful to Seibo Maria for providing us with this Likuni Phala. The Likuni Phala will help my kid to grow well and healthy. I will make sure that every morning my daughter gets Likuni phala before going to school.”
The Story of Liness
Liness is mother if 6 x children. 2 of her children, Mayamiko & Andrew, attend nursery. Her husband is a tinsmith by profession and works part-time. The family struggle to put food on the table- and eat once or at most twice a day. Mayamiko & Andrew used to go to school on an empty stomach. Liness added,
“I am so happy that Seibo has given us Likuni phala and my kids will now have food to eat every day. I don’t take this granted, may the good Lord bless you”.
The Story of Meffa
Meffa is the aunt of Marvelous Mateyu who attends Tiyamike CBCC. She is raising 7 children of which 5 are her own and 2 are her sisters. Marvelous mother is not in a position to look after the children so Meffa is trying to raise all the children using income derived from part-time work. Her husband is unable to work since he had a stroke and was left incapacitated. They do not pay rent and are reliant on a relative but the house could be sold any time. It is difficult for Meffa to find money to buy enough food for the whole family. Most of the time the children only eat lunch. If they have enough food they eat twice a day. “I am so happy for the blessing I have received today. My kids will now have food to eat every morning. May God bless to continue doing this work for the kids”
The Story of Musadane
Musadane mother to Doreen and Hope who both attend Tiyamike CBCC. Musadane does part-time work like drawing water and washing. Her husband sells used clothes and they all live in a rented house for which they pay MK15,000 per month. They eat when they have food but there are times when they have nothing.
“I am so thankful to Seibo because my kids will now have food to eat every morning without any problems. Continue doing this for us we are grateful”.
The Story of Agnes
Agnes is mother to Alex and Philip who are attending primary and nursery school respectively.Their family depends on farming and they have a garden where they grow maize, beans and tomatoes- the sales of which support their family. “I am very thankful to Seibo for providing us with the Likuni Phala. We could not afford to buy this. This Likuni Phala will help my boy to grow healthy. I will be cooking for him as required.”
The Story of Elena
Elena is a single mother with 4 children of which Akeera is her youngest. Elena relies of part-time farming and selling charcoal to find enough food and most times they only have enough for lunch and supper. “I am so happy for the support Seibo has rendered to my family because Akeera will be helped a lot. He will now be going to school well fed while at first, he wasn’t taking any breakfast when going to school. I know the porridge will also help him to grow healthy and I am thankful for that”.
The Story of Awema
Awema is mother of Steven who attends Kachimera CBCC. Awema has 6 children of which Steven is the youngest. They grow maize on their farm that provides them with food in the harvest season. Steven’s father used to sell charcoal but since being diagnosed with tuberculosis he has been home sick and the food they produce lasts only about 6 months of the year. The entire family eats once or twice a day. “Thank you so much Seibo for the porridge you have given my son. My child was lacking proper nutritious food but now it is here through Seibo. This is my answered prayer from God through you. I will make sure that the porridge is for Steven only so that it lasts long. May God bless you”
The Story of Jennifer
Jennifer is mother to Chisomo & Rebecca. Jennifer washes clothes in the community for which she gets a maximum of MK3,000. Her husband assists builders and earns around MK10,000 for each building project. Jennifer has plans to start a business selling Kamba Puffs to primary children and has so far managed to save MK2,700. The family live in a rented house for which they pay MK8,000 per month. “I am very happy to have received the Likuni Phala as this will help my kids to grow well. We were not able to give breakfast every day to our kids. But now my kids will eat phala every morning before going to school. Thank you Seibo”
The Story of Lydia
Lydia is mother to 5 children and lives behind Chilomoni market. Two of her children, Aubrey & Aisha, attend Tilitonse CBCC. Since a local nursery closed due to the pandemic the closest free nursery is Tilitonse which is a bit of a distance. “It is hard for me to carry the twins back and forth to school every day. I wish we had one CBCC in Chilomoni so that my kids could enrol there to learn”.
Lydia does laundry for other people as a part-time job and her husband does part-time jobs locally. Lydia also has plans to start a business for which she has so far managed to save MK3000.
“I am more than happy to have received this Likuni Phala. I promise I will be cooking it for the kids as required. The Likuni Phala will help my kids to grow well. We were not able to give breakfast to our kids daily, but now with this Likuni Phala I think they will be happy to come to school whilst they have taken the phala as this will encourage them to be attentive in class”
The Story of Nefe
Nefe is the mother of Allan who attends Chilingani CBCC. Born in 2018, Allan started nursery in November of this year. Nefe tries to cook ‘Mgaiwa’ porridge for her child before school but there are times when there isn’t any food. She was happy to receive the ‘phala’ for her family. “My child will no longer come to school hungry I will make sure that the phala is cooked early for her to eat when going to school. It has been difficult to provide her with breakfast daily, and I am so grateful”.
The Story of Ennet
Ennet is mother to 5 children, the youngest being Rafiki who attends Chilingani CBCC. A farmer, Ennet grows maize, pigeon peas and cowpeas. Her husband sells charcoal and brooms. The family is able to provide food for most meals but not for breakfast. “Before receiving the flour, I used to cook nsima for Rafiki before going to school. In times when we have money I used to make tea for him so that he eats before going to school. Now with the flour we have received, I am so happy that my child will be having a proper breakfast and it will help him grow healthy. Thank you so much Seibo I am grateful for this.”
The Story of Hilda
Hilda is mother to two, one of which is Tracy who attends nursery at Chilingani CBCC. Hilda and her husband are farmers and they grow maize and pigeon peas. All the food they grow they consume themselves. In addition to farming Hilda does part-time work helping other people on their farms and also sells charcoal. Before receiving the Likuni phala Hilda prepared ‘Mgaiwa’ flour for Tracy before going to school. “I am grateful for the likuni phala flour you have given to my child because it will help my child grow healthy and also on the hand I won’t have to worry about what food I should give to my child because I know Likuni phala has it all”
The Story of Wisdom
Wisdom is the father 2, the youngest of which is Brian who attends Chilingani CBCC. Wisdom is a farmer and grows tomatoes, maize and cassava- some of which they use and some of which they sell. His wife is a stay home mom. “I am so grateful for the nutritious likuni phala you have given us because it is good for my child’s health. Before receiving the flour, I used to give him a lot of junk food because I couldn’t afford proper nutritious food but now am covered. Thank you so much.”