Tuesday, March 30, 2010

They need help…….

My part time work as a volunteer placement coordinator for various organizations has enlightened me to many problems that Malawians are facing. Even though I grew up in a poor family, I dint know the extent of poverty in other people’s lives until recently…here is one case.

I was looking for an orphan care centre to place a volunteer when I came across Step Kids Awareness Centre (STEKA) at Nyambadwe in Blantyre. They take care of 20 street kids from around Blantyre and they chose to raise them in a family setup. Godknows Maseko and his wife, Helen resigned from their various workplaces with an idea of taking care of the kids.

Since they started in 2007 they have met a lot of problems but are still operating thanks to a South African missionary, Felix Starker who started helping them until recently. Apart from finding food to feed the 20 kids, Godknows and Helen pays fees for 18 kids who go to school, buy basic necessities for them and pays rent for the house.

Maseko refuses to call his centre an orphanage claiming it has a psychological effect on the kids as they live in seclusion. He prefers to call it STEKA HOUSE and all the kids address him as ‘dad’. A visit to the centre proved this as the way they are raised is very different from the orphanages I have visited so far.

But they have a big problem in finding money. Maseko and his wife are jobless and were surviving on funding from Starker who has since stopped. This has prompted Maseko to start looking for an income generating activity but enough capital is a problem. In a proposal sent to me, he wants to revive a tailoring shop he used to have before Starker came in, start rearing chicken and gardening some vegetables for sell in supermarkets.

STEKA is therefore calling on all well wishers to help them in any way. You can email me if you want the proposal sent to you or visit STEKA’s blog for more information. Any help that you can offer will go a long way in taking care of the 20 kids at STEKA and hopefully many more kids.