Going without clothes and shoes

Ireen Banda

Mchinji District … Ireen Banda is a nine-year-old orphan girl registered with the Tinthandizane Community Based Organization in Mchinji District near Madzimayela Mountain. Griven Kasalika, a member of the Action for Progress team relates the day they met her. 

Malawi Mchinji Map

“As the team from Action for Progress, along with an official from the social welfare department neared our destination, officials from Tribal Authority and many of the men, women, and children from the area saw our two vehicles approaching and started to clap their hands and dance a local dance in excitement.”

The team had come to deliver clothes sent from the Malawi Project in the U.S. and the local people heard the news even before they arrived. Kasalika continues,

“The community and religious leaders assembled to witness the occasion. Chief Ngubo was the first to speak, ‘We received communication from the district council that you were coming. We have been anticipating your arrival. You coming to us is a great blessing to this village.’”

As Griven and the team prepared to give clothes to the needy, the chief was full of questions. “Is this a government institution?” “What exactly does it do? “Where is it located?” Everyone listened closely as Griven explained about Action for Progress and its work. He continues the report,

“After I explained who we are and what we do, the chief called for the program to continue in a peaceful and honest way. One by one we handed out clothes to one group after another. A line of children moved slowly forward. Clothes and candy were on the menu, and they were all excited. Then came 9-year-old Ireen, an orphan who knew little beyond torn clothes and no shoes. Her story was painful as we learned she goes to school barefoot and with torn clothes. But on that day, we were able to change that. The girl went home happy. A bag of clothes in one hand and a handful of candy in the other had made a big difference in her young life.”

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