Mercy is a mom of 3 children. Her first-born, Shakira (13), is in standard 4 at Chilingani Primary, the second born, Chisomo (9), is in standard 2 at Chillingani Primary and finally there is Saiti (4) who attends Mlambe CBCC. Both parents work- Mercy sells firewood while her husband makes and sells bamboo fences (called ‘ziphaka’ locally). Their monthly income is around 7,500 kwacha though there are times they don’t make any money at all and have to go in search of ‘piece-work’ to make ends meet. Seibo support the family with food (porridge) for Saiti. Mercy added, “Most of the time we can’t afford flour for Nsima but I am always happy when my baby Saiti has eaten something. The school feeding was helpful for us parents and the kids as well. If possible, please start feeding at the school again”.
-Rhoda is mother to Selina (under-5) & Aubrey (9). The kids father sells charcoal for a living while the mother does piece-work like clearing people’s farms or applying fertiliser. In the good times the family can make 2,500 kwacha a day but sometimes that is what they earn in a week and all their earnings are used on daily expenses. Rhoda’s family often go without breakfast and she is grateful to Seibo’s donors for ensuring Selina can now have breakfast.
Martha is a mother of two children, Triphonia (under-5) and Phillip (10 months). Triphonia attends Mlambe CBCC. The family has a small farm where they grow different crops such as maize, groundnuts and vegetables. They can make 7,000 kwacha a week but often make less than that- their income fluctuates with demand for maize. Martha shares her concerns that “it is very hard to go to the farm and leave the kids without any food. As a mother it is very painful. I like to send my child to school well-fed because a child cannot learn if she is hungry. I am very grateful for the porridge I have received today!”
Ellina is a mother of 4 children. Brenda (10), Hope (7), Bright (3) who attends Mother Teresa Children’s Centre and Mphatso (2) who attends Tilitonse CBCC. Aside from a lack of food the family also face challenges sleeping and all the kids sleep in the sitting room. The parents gather water for making bricks and run other errands though most of the money is used to pay school fees for Brenda & Hope. They can’t afford three meals a day and are usually going without breakfast.
Gladys is mother to Sarah who attends Chilingani CBCC, and 6 other children. Her husband left her so her only income is from selling charcoal. She is supported by her eldest son who also sells charcoal and has his own family. Gladys was relieved to receive the phala as she is not managing to provide breakfast every day to her kids.
Rhoda is mother to Judith (4) who attends Chilingani CBCC, and 5 other kids. She is married to a religious pastor and does part-time work such as clearing people’s gardens. Her husband does not receive a salary but rather an upkeep and he provides his wife with a monthly amount of 10,000 kwacha. While the amount is not enough to cover all expenses Rhoda thanks God for providing the family with that amount. She is also grateful to Seibo’s donors for providing the family with fortified Likuni Phala. She added that the Phala will help her daughter Judith to grow well & healthy.
Mervis is mother to Bridget (3) who attends Chilingani CBCC. Her husband left her in 2017 and since then Mervis has moved back to live with her parents. As a single-parent without any support she is reliant on her parents who are also raising her siblings. Mervis sometimes finds piece-work like clearing gardens, making ridges, etc. Most of the time she can’t afford to give Bridget breakfast but with the Likuni Phala from Seibo she will prepare it every morning from now on!