Gwileni Village, Malawi … “As soon as we entered the village, I was greeted by a young man named Benjamin Nyama Tsogolani,” recalls Griven Kasalika, as he and Wilson Tembo arrived with critically needed food. Life has changed little in this remote part of the earth over the years. Kasalika continued his narrative about this 27-year-old, “With his gentle greeting we knew we were welcome, and with the anticipation of receiving food Benjamin and others quickly jumped in to help unload the food. Everything was ready quickly for the distribution of the food.”
After losing his job in the village nearly a year ago, life has not been easy for Benjamin. Problems in the solar system where he worked were no longer functioning properly, and this was his only source of income. Now with no job, and the famine growing worse, he could no longer feed his family.
Married and with one child, Benjamin also supports his aged grandmother who cannot walk and remains confined to the house. The responsibility for their well-being falls to Benjamin, and he works at trying to find part-time jobs so he can support them. Food, when it can be found, has become so expensive Benjamin can only buy enough for his child and his grandmother. He and his wife often go to bed hungry.
When Wilson Tembo addressed the crowd and called for discipline so the food could be distributed, Benjamin understood exactly what he expected, and he quickly lined up with everyone else. Kasalika gained an important lesson that day that he repeated for western supporters. He saw first-hand the sacrificial spirit of a husband and wife who are going to sleep hungry so they can give what is available to their child and grandmother.
On behalf of his grandmother, Benjamin thanked Action for Progress for distributing food to hungry families. He described this program in medical terms when he called it “a life-supporting machine. It is supporting the lives of many people.”
“No life should be lost because of starvation,” he emphasized to Griven.
Gwileni village, Benjamin’s home, is a small remote village north-west of the capital city of Lilongwe. This area is under the jurisdiction of Tribal Authority Khongoni. (Tribal authority still governs most of Malawi, and each T/A has approximately 200,000 to 300,000 people under their jurisdiction).