Agape House believes in reaching Malawi’s most vulnerable population- children. Recently, in order to do this, we have been providing food for Searchlight Orphan Care children’s home in rural Malawi. The following is an expert from Duncan Nyozani explaining Searchlight and the prevalence of orphans in Malawi.
“Searchlight Orphan Care is a community based youth focused charity. It is registered charity and is registered by the Malawian Government under the Ministry of Gender, Child Welfare and Community Services.
It was founded in 2002 and is located in the rural village of Kambona in the district of Phalombe, Malawi. It mostly operates in Kambona and the nearby villages, particularly Msema.
The problems facing Malawi are severe and numerous and are generally worse in rural communities. Malawi is the 4th poorest country in the world and has an average life expectancy of 43 years and 64,000 deaths of under-5s each year. HIV is widespread with an infection rate of 15% whilst malaria and several other diseases also plague the people. Food shortages occur frequently and with stark extremity. The relentless pressure of poverty has lead to disintegrating community and family structure.
The children of Malawi suffer these problems acutely. Most do not see their 5th birthday and those that do are all too often vulnerable, underprivileged and malnourished. Their lives are not easy; many are forced into child labor or suffer from abuse. The poverty they are subjected to means most are unable to enjoy an education and so become trapped in a cycle of impoverishment. The low life expectancy and the Aids pandemic mean there are many orphans. No care or help is available to them. SOC was founded in response to these problems. SOC is a youth focused charity dedicated to improving the lives of children in Malawi. SOC sees orphans as the neediest group in society and places particular emphasis on helping them.
SOC’s mission statement is:
To help children build themselves a better life.
SOC has 4 main goals: 1.To offer children the opportunity of education. 2.To provide care and help for orphans in the community. 3.To work with the community to tackle issues such as child mortality. 4.To build a community spirit and an increased sense of belonging for children.”