Mtogolo Village is no different that any community in the sense that it is organized by workers, teachers, families and individuals. It is also no different than other sub-Saharan communities that faced the ravages of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
In 2003, in the absence of a biomedical intervention, community chiefs and leaders met to discuss methods to mitigate the epidemic. They had the passion and the manpower but very little resources. The conglomerate of villages decided that the way forward was to protect the growing number of orphans and form committees to support their care.
Although Children’s Hope Malawi, our registered NGO is in its second year, the support and mobilization for the citizens of Mtogolo is nearly a decade in the making. A group of friends in Washington D.C. met to discuss the ways in which small-scale funding initiatives could pave the way for self sustaining initiatives that would help a community lift itself from the scourges of AIDS and poverty. So much work has been done, but yet there is still so much more to accomplish.
Mtogolo Village has been fortunate to receive large and small grants and donations that have developed the area in a big way. School structures have been built, a clinic serves a population of more than 50,000 people within T.A. Malemia. However, Malawi continues to languish at the top of unfortunate lists… poverty indexes, illiteracy rates and incidences of HIV/AIDS. We still have more work to do.
Children’s Hope Malawi hopes to differ from contemporary donor-funded operations in the sense that we are interested in funding initiatives that will lead to self-sustaining programs, meaning that the inhabitants will be fueled with the resources to train and sustain the initiatives alone after a certain period of time. We do not want hand-to-mouth funding, nor do we want to support the hand-out distribution model.
We wish to work with individuals across the spectrum – community members and leaders, policy experts, government, NGO, and generally anyone who cares – to develop projects that will lead to self-sustaining income generating projects.
We thank all of you for your support this far and look forward to working together in the future.