This area of work was not part of Julian & Caroline’s original plan. However, as with the feeding programme, the pressing needs of orphans in the community could not be ignored.
It has become a privilege to be involved in offering hope to children who would otherwise have little hope in their lives. Customarily orphans struggle tremendously even when 'cared' for in the extended family system. Most often they become free labour whether in the home or in the fields, miss out on schooling or even on a childhood itself. It is no surprise that the majority of the children we care for are boys since it is the girls who do most of the work at home, and hence families are not happy to release girls into our care! This is true even where the family cannot really provide for the child.
During 2007 the first six orphans were given a home with John and Betha and their family. Since then the number of orphans has grown to fifteen being cared for in a number of different families. For more details of all the orphans, click here.
Our vision is that each child will be a part of a family, in contrast to the traditional orphanage model that is commonly found throughout Malawi and Mozambique. The children not only gain both a father and mother, but also experience a loving family atmosphere where they can grow up and flourish in safety. As is to be expected the children experience good housing and access to health care, and are well clothed, fed and educated.
All ages are unconfirmed and in some cases guess work! In one sense it is sad that we do not know much about their individual histories, but each has now the opportunity of a new and very different life, new beginnings and new hope. No doubt over the next few years we will get to know more about each child. We are happy to report that most have settled into their new life quite well but experience shows that the issues affecting each child may take some time to become understood. Please continue to pray for their settling into new ways of life - most village children have absolutely no concept of discipline for example!
Other main areas of involvement which help orphans are:
- Providing meals three times a week during the "hungry season" via the feeding programme, and
- Providing blankets for the cold season.