|Monday 17th September - Malawi - Blantyre (Day 2)
Today we met up with Nelson who runs a kids project in Blantyre called Chisomo. We had met Nelson back in the UK before we left and had heard then about Chisomo and its work, so we were keen to meet up with him in Blantyre. As part of our trip we have been raising money for two charities - Tearfund and the Samuel Trust. The Chisomo Project is one of the many projects that benefit from Tearfunds support and so it was good to see for ourselves the sort of thing that Tearfund is involved in.
Chisomo helps children who have been abandoned on the streets. In the short-term they will take these kids in and look after them, making sure they are fed and cared for, but their aim is to find out where the children have come from, return them to their communities and provide the necessary support so that the children can be cared for properly there. Sometimes the children are orphans in which case attempts are made to re-house them with relatives. Chisomo helps the children and their families by paying money towards the childs education and health costs, helping the child find work when they reach working age and making social-work services available to the family. Currently they have over 2300 children in their care in this way. Chisomo also runs childrens football and music clubs.
We visited the Chisomo Club Centre and met some of the administration staff there. We also met some of the older boys that have been helped by Chisomo and one little boy whose family Chisomo is currently trying to trace. Its amazing how much Chisomo does, so if any of you out there are enjoying reading this blog, click Our Charities and give them some money!
Nelson helped us out with a few chores, directing us to banks and foreign exchange places, helping us buy new shoes and sandals for the girls and taking us along to a couple of garages to try to figure out why our auxiliary battery is not being charged properly . Thanks for being a help to us, Nelson, and thanks for being a help to so many hundreds of children too. May you and Chisomo continue to be directed and blessed.
Last night we stayed at Doogles. In some ways Doogles has lots going for it and we felt that it must have been a great place at some point in the past. Theres a swimming pool, bikes for rent, internet access, decent food, pool tables, big screen TV for watching sport, hot showers, clean toilets, noticeboards showing tourist information.. So why did we wake up today so keen to get away from the place?