Please see also Leaflet Weeskinderen (Dutch)
Malawi is one of the world’s poorest countries and for most people it is a real struggle to improve their lot. Illnesses such as malaria, AIDS, tuberculosis, malnutrition and diarrhoea are common. The child mortality rate is very high, with almost all mothers resigned to losing one or more children before they reach the age of five. And the AIDS pandemic also takes a heavy toll. In Luviri, the district in which Eva Demaya is active, at least 20 percent of the people are infected by HIV.The disastrous consequences for the Malawi people of the AIDS pandemic are hard to put into words. In the area where Eva Demaya is active, within a radius of 15 kilometres, an estimated 5000 children have lost one or both parents. Many young people under 20 are already taking care of orphans even before they are married themselves. Many grandparents are obliged to take care of their grandchildren after the children’s parents have died and there is nobody else left to take care for them.
It is not hard to imagine the extra load placed on the typical Malawian family by all these factors.
Eva Demaya assists the orphans and their caring families by supplying food and blankets, supporting nursery schools, by providing home care and by extra educational provision.
To give the young children a better start in life and to prepare them for primary school, Eva Demaya Centre started small nursery schools together with the people in this region. The orphans are allowed to attend these schools for free and, funds permitting, the children are provided each day with nourishing food such as maize porridge, fruit and milk.
The Eva Demaya Centre supports twelve of these nursery schools begun by volunteers of the community. At the Centre we have had our own nursery school since the beginning and now we would like to build one in the village too. If funds permit, we would also like to give added support to the other twelve nursery schools and supply them with toys, training for the teachers, and food.
In the months January, February and March it is particularly necessary to organise food distribution to the orphans and their families, as during these months the family food stocks run low or are exhausted and ther is no new crop yet. Where our finances allow it, Eva Demaya gives each family per orphan one tin of maize per month (17 kilos) to help them out of their most pressing needs.
In the months June, July and August the nights are very cold in northern Malawi. Few people can afford a blanket and many of them catch a serious cold. So to keep warm at night many people sleep next to a fire. Accidents can and do happen, however, and many children incur painful burns which can lead to inflammation and even become life-threatening.
In such cases we donate blankets to orphans whose carers can’t afford to buy them. The selection of people who receive a blanket, is done in the villages democratically. Blankets are expensive, however, and there are a lot of orphans, so this is yet another reason why we are always glad of the help of our donors.
The Centre tries to visit the orphans of Luviri once a year at home. In this way we are able to discuss the problems the carers face, to discover how we can support them where necessary, and to look at ways in which they might be able to improve their situation by themselves.
Almost all orphans have lost their parents to AIDS and some of them are ill themselves too.
Where our resources allow it, the Centre we would like to further extend this home care by visiting more families and giving them broader support.
To improve the lot of the orphans, to prepare them to stand on their own feet and earn a living, the Centre supports as many as children as possible in the training and education sector. Please see Vocational Training to learn more.