10 years!!!! In February, 2005, the elders of four local villages started an orphan project with 125 orphans. Their purpose was to feed and support the increasing number of local orphans and their caregivers. They started with a small grass building.
They fed the orphans two times a week.
They also gave the children time to play and shared Bible lessons with them.
The elders of the villages contacted Shadreck Chikoti and asked him to help them with the orphans. He formed a board of directors and began Kanyenyeva Orphan Care Ministry, a Malawian NGO.
Malawi was experiencing a severe drought that year and the orphan project ran out of food before the planting season started. In September, 2005, Shadreck contacted everyone he knew through an email requesting help to feed the orphans. A woman from Ohio received his email and brought it to the attention of her church, First English Lutheran Church in Mansfield. They chose to use their Advent offering to help the orphans at Kanyenyeva Ministry. The sent $3,000 to help buy food, plates, utensils, seeds and fertilizer to be used at the orphan project. The orphan project was also able to purchase fertilizer and seed to give to the caregivers.
First English Lutheran Church realized that the needs for the orphans and their caregivers did not end after they received the Advent offering. They chose to continue to support the orphan project however they could.
Through the donations of First English Lutheran Church, the orphan project was able to grow. In 2009, Bob Enskat donated the money to build a hall for them to meet for Bible lessons and other community events.
The brick building and metal roof allowed the children a place to eat during the rainy season. However, the women cooked over a three stone fire so it was difficult to make meals for the children during the rainy season.
In 2012, Ken Ekegren helped the women of the orphan project to design a kitchen with rocket stoves to be used at the orphan project. The women had many ideas for the design of the building and Ken was able to include two rocket stoves to help decrease their use of wood.
In January, 2013, a well was dug at the orphan project for the use of the orphan project and the surrounding community. It has not run dry, even during the dry season. It has been a blessing to the Kanyenyeva Community.
Through donations, the orphan project has been able to start several businesses that have helped the orphans and the local community. Widows and caregivers have been able to start a bracelet business.
The orphan project runs a bus business in the Lilongwe area. The profits from this business help to fund a feeding day at the orphan project.
The orphan project also started a chicken/egg business at the orphan project. It was difficult to operate it at the orphan project so they are expanding it in Lilongwe.
The village committee realizes the importance of education and encourage all the children to attend school. If the elders hear that a child has not attended school, they talk to that child to find out why they were not at school and to encourage them to go. The orphan project now supports 33 high school students with scholarships. Five of those students, are vulnerable girls who attend boarding school.
Much has happened in the past 10 years. The Kanyenyeva Orphan Care Ministry started with 125 registered orphans. They now have 300 registered orphans and regularly feed up to 400. They started feeding the orphans 2 days a week and are now feeding them 4 days a week.
They have been able to give blankets and solar light to the children. They have given solar lights and water back packs to the caregivers. Each year, they have increased the number of orphans that attend high school by scholarship. Last school year, they helped 25 and this school year they are helping 33.
They have outgrown both the meeting hall and the kitchen. The people of Kanyenyeva take pride in the orphan project and the growth that it has brought to the local community.
God has increased the number of churches and individuals who help the orphans in Malawi. Malawi Orphan Care Project, a 501(c)(3), was formed in 2012 and continues to grow. God continues to work through Malawi Orphan Care Project and Kanyenyeva Orphan Care Ministry.
Where will God lead us in the next 10 years?