With the build of Sophie’s Skills Shed, and the increasing awareness that this is their place, the children have been flocking to the Resource Centre. Each weekend day there has been an average of 220 children. Even on terrible rainy days there have been above 80; on some occasions as many as 300.
They all get given food; depending on the weather they have fun and games outside, or inside if it’s inclement. And they are starting to learn skills, to stand them in good stead for their future.
Here is a selection of photos showing some of them, becoming happier and more fulfilled – and having full tummies.
The little boy learning how to build and point bricks is Anock who features on our information booklet – an orphan who had no blanket to lie on or cover himself with, and who had no shoes. We have a piece written by Levison about Anock and how his life has changed; he is representative of all the children whom the Foundation is helping here: The untold story of Anock.
On 6 November 2017, the first knitting classes took place in Chitipa, using wool and needles donated by William.
There were 40 orphans and they were split into five classes so that each child would be able to have individual attention.
Two ladies, Mickness Silungwe and Emily Kaira volunteered to teach the children, and the Foundation thanks them, not only for bringing happiness to the faces of the children, but also for the joy those smiling faces gives to everybody who views the video.
The children started off with some trepidation, no different from kids anywhere in the world at the thought of learning something new, but by the end of each class, through the patience of their teachers, they were empowered.
The classes are continuing, and we have more photos in the Gallery. Already the children have made some baby hats and are looking forward to making more substantial items like blankets.
The first of the organised ball games took place on 9 November 2017 and the orphans of the Ibuluma villages had great fun.
The games were officiated by Anold Ngámbi and the children chose their own names for the teams, as you can hear at the end of the video clip – William Stars and Mary Queens!
The children wanted to thank William for providing the balls and they love chorusing ‘Thank you, William Stewart’.
So many of them without shoes, let alone football boots, and as yet no football jerseys, but the main thing is that they had the facility to run about joyfully as children should which is so good for their overall wellbeing.
Update - May 2019
Even since writing our last update, the number of children flocking to the Resource Centre has increased. The Foundation is now regularly receiving 500+ children, some of them walking 17 km to get here. They are not all orphans although many are, but they are all in need of physical, mental and spiritual nourishment.
We have put out an appeal for funding linked to this year’s Father’s Day and End of School term and Sarah has opened a Go Fund Me page for this purpose.
We have included some of the photos of the Easter celebrations, which were held a little late because of a funeral, but the children were off school anyway, and they had a wonderful time. More of the gifts which had been handed to them incrementally since December were given out - warm blankets and clothing as Malawi is now going into its cold season. And there is a new and very heartwarming video on our Youtube channel - Raising Up Ibuluma Children.