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The Caring Hand

Mr Chimota gets another wheelchairNkhota Bay, Malawi … This report comes from northern Malawi near the big lake, Lake Malawi. This lake is the 12th largest fresh water lake in the world. Nkhota Bay is situated east of the capital of the northern part of Malawi, Mzuzu, and sits beside the lake in the Nkhota District. This district in the far northern part of the nation, while the Namikango Mission is deep in the southern part of the nation.

Nkhota Bay is the home of sixty-year-old L. Chimota, a physically challenged man whose legs became paralyzed when he was seven years of age. The illness that followed was unknown to him. The only thing he knew was that he would henceforth craw in the dust, or be carried by his relatives.

When he grew up he moved to Mzuzu City in search of some sort of opportunities.

“Unlike many physically challenged people who stand around near big shops in town waiting for a hand out, Chimota spends his days beside the buildings at the Shopping Center’s veranda sewing and patching-up people’s worn out clothes for his food and wages. Quite to the contrary, instead of waiting for help, he amazingly extends his hand to reach out to others who need help. He was just born a hard worker,” Yunusu Mataka explained about him. Mataka works at the Namikango Mission in Thondwe, and it was he who took the wheelchair on the long trip north in order to deliver it to Chimota.

Mataka continues his report, “In 2009 his wheelchair was broken beyond repair. This rendered the big man destitute. As the family’s breadwinner, Chimota experienced and was forced to spend some of the little money he could make daily to board a bus to and from work. Efforts to find assistance from organizations such as Malawi Against Polio (MAP) and MACOHA to obtain a wheelchair proved futile. They all had no wheelchair in stock to help him with. At MAP northern region headquarters, his request just piled up in a large group of requests. He was told MAP only had pieces of broken wheelchairs that could cost over MK30,000.00. That would be equal to $200.00 American dollars. He couldn’t raise that much. He gave up.”

However, that wasn’t the end of him. God opened another door through the Malawi Project Inc., in corroboration with the Free Wheelchair Mission. They jointly shipped a new wheelchair for the old man to use. When the wheelchair arrived at the Namikango Mission, one of the workers, knowing the predicament of Mr. L Chimoto ensured that he would benefit. He took the wheelchair for the long journey north just so the old man would be able to move, work and help his family.

As Chimota watched Yunusu Mataka leave that day for the return trip to Namikango, his life had witnessed God’s Hand opening another door for him and his future. He can now go to his business and make a little money for his family’s survival. He can go to the church and worship. He can once again go out and chat with his friends. As he smiles, Chimota has been assured of the caring Hand of God.

– Wilson Tembo and Richard Stephens

Another Door Has Popped Open

Nkhota Bay, Malawi … This report comes from northern Malawi near the big lake, Lake Malawi. This lake is the 12th largest fresh water lake in the world. Nkhota Bay is situated east of the capital of the northern part of Malawi, Mzuzu, and sits beside the lake in the Nkhota District. This district in the far northern part of the nation, while the Namikango Mission is deep in the southern part of the nation.

Nkhota Bay is the home of sixty-year-old L. Chimota, a physically challenged man whose legs became paralyzed when he was seven years of age. The illness that followed was unknown to him. The only thing he knew was that he would henceforth craw in the dust, or be carried by his relatives.

When he grew up he moved to Mzuzu City in search of some sort of opportunities.

Unlike many physically challenged people who stand around near big shops in town waiting for a hand out, Chimota spends his days beside the buildings at the Shopping Center’s veranda sewing and patching-up people’s worn out clothes for his food and wages. Quite to the contrary, instead of waiting for help, he amazingly extends his hand to reach out to others who need help. He was just born a hard worker,” Yunusu Mataka explained about him. Mataka works at the Namikango Mission in Thondwe, and it was he who took the wheelchair on the long trip north in order to deliver it to Chimota.

Mataka continues his report, “In 2009 his wheelchair was broken beyond repair. This rendered the big man destitute. As the family’s breadwinner, Chimota experienced and was forced to spend some of the little money he could make daily to board a bus to and from work. Efforts to find assistance from organizations such as Malawi Against Polio (MAP) and MACOHA to obtain a wheelchair proved futile. They all had no wheelchair in stock to help him with. At MAP northern region headquarters, his request just piled up in a large group of requests. He was told MAP only had pieces of broken wheelchairs that could cost over MK30,000.00. That would be equal to $200.00 American dollars. He couldn’t raise that much. He gave up.”

However, that wasn’t the end of him. God opened another door through the Malawi Project Inc., in corroboration with the Free Wheelchair Mission. They jointly shipped a new wheelchair for the old man to use. When the wheelchair arrived at the Namikango Mission, one of the workers, knowing the predicament of Mr. L Chimoto ensured that he would benefit. He took the wheelchair for the long journey north just so the old man would be able to move, work and help his family.

As Chimota watched Yunusu Mataka leave that day for the return trip to Namikango, his life had witnessed God’s Hand opening another door for him and his future. He can now go to his business and make a little money for his family’s survival. He can go to the church and worship. He can once again go out and chat with his friends. As he smiles, Chimota has been assured of the caring Hand of God.

- Wilson Tembo and Richard Stephens

Bangwe Factory – Project Adds Yet Another Site

Part of the Council for the Handicapped Program

    The Bangwe Weaving Factory opened in 1976 as a result of the creation of the Malawi Council For The Handicapped (MACOHA) by an act of the Malawi Parliament in 1971 (Chapter 35:02) under the administration of Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda the First President of the nation. With the advent of MACOHA came a series of nationwide programs and initiatives designed to find ways to support and assist the handicapped to live full and productive lives. Programs were put into place in every region of the country by the Administration.

    MACOHA continues today to carry out the same mission for which it was chartered when the Republic was in its infancy. The familiar mission statement in some of its literature repeats a page from the past. MACOHA functions today "as a government implementing agent responsible for services and programs designed to improve the livelihoods of persons with disabilities."

    As one of its functions MACOHA oversees the activities of the Bangwe Factory. The factory is located just south of the commercial center of Blantyre, and has a capacity to employ about 150 people of which 75% have varying degrees of disabilities. A disastrous fire a few years ago destroyed much of the equipment and placed in question the future of the facility and its workers. Since then it has been a long, difficult climb up from the ashes. The program continues to run short of equipment and supplies for all of the handicapped people who need the resources it can offer. Currently there are 100 men and women with disabilities being trained in hand weaving, screen-printing, tailoring, embroidery, tie-dyeing, carpentry and other trades that lead to productive lives.

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