Special Report by Sandra Skene (Malawi)
There has been a real need for a feeding programme to be established in Malawi, where malnutrition and it's subsequent problems create many unnecessary infant deaths and childhood ailments. Sandra Skene, the ActionOverseas resident missionary in the country, felt compelled to act, here is her story.
The feeding programme which we run in Malawi for malnourished children under the age of 5 years has been in place for almost 11 years. My colleague, Anne Davies and I would travel throughout Malawi with our husbands on church visitation and we would come home and share about the children looking hungry and with so many minor skin conditions/childhood ailments. After doing this for a few weeks we looked at each other and said "Well, either we do something about it or we shut up!" We decided to do something!!! We started by looking at other projects to see if we thought we could manage and then set about finding funding. We identified a village in the Lower Shire and God quickly supplied the necessary funding - it was all systems go!
In Malawi the problems are so big it is easy to become overwhelmed and do nothing or you can do the little bit you can do and make a difference to some. We decided we could cope with 20 - 25 children on the project - over the years the project has grown and at present we have 45 children on our books! My colleague left after a couple of years and I was unsure if I would be able to continue this project alone - but how can you stop feeding children? So I prayed that if God would continue to send the funding, I would continue to run the programme! And up to this present day, God has been faithful and the funding has come. I thank God for the people who have been obedient to His prompting to support this programme.
When we go to the project our truck is loaded up with everything we need the pots and pans, the baby cereal - even the water for cooking and clearing up! When we arrive we weigh the children while the mothers cook the porridge and while it is cooking we take the chance to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Once everyone has eaten and the mums have cleared up they are given a supply of cereal to give the child one meal a day until we return in two weeks. We used to go on a weekly basis but as some of the mums were walking up to 2 hours to reach us we agreed to give double supplies and come once a fortnight.
It is a joy to see the children grow and develop and although they should be discharged at the age of 5 years, many are kept on longer if that is