How Our Projects Developed
Joshua Orphan Care Centre was established in 1998 primarily to assist needy and vulnerable children in the local Community. The main centre is situated 10 kilometres from Blantyre in southern Malawi. In 2005 Joshua became a fully registered UK charity as well as a Malawian Charity and is now known as the Joshua Orphan Care Trust.
Sylvia became involved with Joshua when she happened to visit Pensulo Village to take books to a small school there. One of the teachers who was on the Committee for Joshua, approached her and asked for assistance with fund raising. At that time she had not anticipated staying in Malawi for very long but interest, enthusiasm and financial backing from friends and family, and two charities in the U.K. made it possible to establish a feeding Centre and a feeding programme. This now includes approximately sixty under five children who come each day to be fed, and have some education and games.
Gradually other villages in the vicinity have requested to become involved, and asked for help with similar activities, whom we began helping on a regular basis by supplying food, cooking equipment, seed for crops and fruit trees.
Community Based Child Care Centers
Since Joshua became established, other communities have ‘linked in’ to our organization, and have set up their own feeding stations or Community Based Child-care Centres (CBCCs) in their villages. Joshua aims to encourage rural communities to take part in development activities which will improve the lives of vulnerable groups, especially orphans. One of the central ways that Joshua initiates this is through its support of these centers. Some meet daily, others meet three times a week, but overall they each help between forty and sixty children.
In total Joshua is helping close to 1200 children by ensuring that they have at least one nutritious meal each day. In some areas, Primary School children are also fed. Depending on the success of our fundraising, we are hoping to expand to new locations in the future.
Joshua also supports three Primary Schools and the Secondary school within the district.
After we had started our pre-school programme, we became very aware of the problems of the older children and started to sponsor them at Secondary School. This programme has now extended and we now have about 300 children whom we finance. Fees range depending on the type of School. With books and extra funding we calculate that each child needs about £5-£15 per term.
Secondary education is costly and sadly we have to be selective. Our overall policy is to enable as many students as possible to receive Secondary Education and in cases of real need we allow some children to go free or at a reduced fee. These non-paying students are identified by their primary school Head teachers or by the local village Chief or Headman.
In addition to the education programmes, there is a youth group, and also we are trying to establish classes in Literacy and Numeracy for adults.We have also applied to a local government organization for help with setting up a Skills Training Centre for some of the youngsters in the area, and we are hoping for help with HIV/AIDS Teaching and Awareness Courses for local people. Family Planning is also on the Agenda.