THE ORPHAN’S STORY: I am no longer a beggar
The girls in the Pangeti village in southern Malawi were interviewed about how their lives have been transformed. The children were eager to demonstrate their gratitude through their personal testimonies about the impact of the Orphan Shade ministry (OSM). The girls (Agness, Eliza, Malita, Maria, Naomi, and Regina) and their new parents, Moyo and Mai Moyo now reside in a new home built in the village. Each child described how their new family and local church has impacted their lives and comparatively shared her own life experience before and after. Below are some of the highlights.
1. ELIZA (9)
Eliza’s parents passed away when she was very young. Eliza’s relatives offered to raise her as their own. However, growing up has been difficult as she faced lack of for food, clothes, and healthy living conditions. Eliza explained that sometimes she went to bed with an empty stomach. She explained that these conditions affected her education. She had to drop out of school just after Standard (grade) one due to lack of funds. She now sheds tears of joy since her new family can provide food, clothes, shelter, and a good education.
2. AGNES (10)
Agnes describes that life is no longer the same. Before OSM she was one of the school drop outs in her village due to lack of school fees. But she has been re-admitted to school. She is now a student at Chulumba primary school in Nsanje district. She claims that OSM has offered her shelter and good nutrition. She now enjoys a good life in her village.
3. CECILIA (7)
Cecilia is a student at Chumba Primary School. She now enjoys equal status with other local girls in the village. She says that she can is able to have consistent meals every day. In the past, she could sleep on empty stomach for several days.
4. REGINA (11)
Regina’s had a testimony on how OSM and her family have transformed her life in the community. As an orphan, she lived as an outcast amongst her own relatives. But OSM has changed her mindset that now she can now dream of a better future due to the fact that OSM has sent her back to school. She is having some respect from those who discriminated her before.
5. NAOMI (10)
Naomi is thankful to OSM for granting her shelter, food, and school. Most importantly she is thankful for her dignity in the village. She was lacking these things previously. It is her prayer that OSM should care for other orphaned children who are roaming around in the cities of Malawi.
6. MALITA (10)
Malita is always cheerful. She is thankful to OSM for initiating this project in her community. It has benefited not only the girls but the broader community. The children’s shining status is also a blessing to their relatives who struggled to take care of them. It’s a relief to their extended families.
7. MARIA (6)
Maria is the youngest in the family. However, she is a very courageous girl. Despite her age, she convinced her grandparents (guardians) that she should live at the OSM house in the Pangeti village. Her grandparents were very reluctant. True to her wish, she is outspoken about the good work of OSM and her new family. She is proud to be part of Orphan Shade as it has really changed her life. According to her, life, is no longer the same. “My future is bright”.
To their former foster parents and the community, OSM offers a complete “shade” in that it has offered relief to the kids, family members, chiefs and the village. To the girls, OSM uses a body, mind and spirit approach method to care for these children. Body: the children are provided health food, clothes, good hygiene, and exercise. Mind: the children are provided education at school and challenged further with after school tutoring. Spiritually they are taught the word of God weekly at a home visit by Pastor Kausiwa and the parents. They also participate as members of the local Pangeti church.
With OSM they shall no longer be in want. Their souls are restored. They are guided in paths of righteousness. Even though the girls used to walk through the valley of the shadow of death, they now fear no evil, for they are now are part of a family (Psalms 23:1-4). They now have shelter when before they could sleep in dilapidated village houses that leaked when raining. They now eat nutritious meals which are beneficial to their growth, when in the past they could spend days without food in their stomachs. Some were school dropouts but now they have gone back to school. They lacked clean clothes, but OSM has made sure that their outfits are standardized. Most importantly, OSM has brought back the children’s dignity in the village. They used to be called “beggars”. Now people in the village must think twice before calling them a beggar. Their status and outlook for the future has completely changed.