No Soap…

This past week we spent time out in another one of the four communities Hands at Work supports in Malawi – Mncheneka Community.

It would have to be the largest community we have visited so far. So large that it is broken into 4 regions, of which 3 are running their own Care Centres which include a Nursery School and a daily feeding point (the fourth area are currently doing home visits, but have yet to start a care point with a feeding program or a nursery school). To give you an idea of the distance, the first day we walked for 4 hours return to visit one home in one of the regions. The second day we took a 30 minute motorcycle ride in a different direction to reach a second region, with a further 15 minute motorcycle ride for the third region. There are 38 Care Workers in this community, feeding 100 children daily, however visiting the homes of 397 vulnerable children each week. That is approximately 10 children that each of these Care Workers visit multiple times each week, often walking hours to do so. Incredible!

On the last day we visited two homes. And both times the children we were visiting were at home when they should have been in school. When asked why they were not at school it was because their clothes were too dirty to go to school. And the family had no money or ability to acquire soap…

A bar of washing soap. A daily commodity in our society we would not even think twice about purchasing and would never go without. I can walk to the shop here in Dedza and buy a bar of washing soap for 50 Kwatcha (around 15 cents). But for families struggling even to just eat one meal a day, soap is an item out of reach. And is preventing these children from being in school.

Where the Care Workers are able, they will buy soap for these families from their own resources when their own situations at home are not so different from those they are visiting. This is true generosity.

A bar of soap, such a simple thing…yet such a big challenge…

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