A Job for Koleta
Lilongwe, Malawi … Since 1999 the Malawi Project has focused its work in central Africa on a theme that, “It is not about the Plan, the Program, or the Project. It is about the people.”
With this in mind, the administration of the Project attempts to keep the people of Malawi, and their well-being, as the most important factor in the work being done. This theme is not always easy when information is being supplied to a western culture that thrives on what it can create, build and accomplish. People, and their needs, often get shifted to the back of the line as tape measures give the dimensions of structures, and tons of materials imply the degree of success.
The Malawi Project and its partner, Action for Progress is serious about keeping what is most important at the front of the line, people!
The following story, from Wilson Tembo, indicates the recognition that every worker on the job site for the new distribution hub has a story, and all of them have personal goals, objectives in life, and needs. The story is about one of the workers, and her needs.
Chawantha Village – Lilongwe, Malawi … In 1977, a baby girl was born in a small village of Chawantha Village west of Lilongwe. She was named Koleta. Growing up in this village, Koleta participated in the same activities as the other children. Mostly, the girls take part in household chores such as drawing water, cleaning dishes and general house cleaning. During the evening hours, the girls often gather at one point in the neighborhood to play games.
Koleta has spent all of her life in this remote area. She did not pursue an educational journey. When she grew up, she married a man from the nearby village. Together they had five children. They worked hard to feed, clothe and educate their children, while at the same time maintaining their livelihood in a simple career of farming.
After years of family life, her husband passed on in 2012. This was a turning point for her life. From this point, Koleta had to shoulder the entire responsibility for the care of her children. She had little experience outside the home, and it was not easy. She was now earning a living by doing part-time, or piece work.
Thank God, Koleta has secured a part-time job with Diamond Construction which is building the Distribution hub for Action for Progress. This has been in attempt to source funds to pay school fees for her form 3 Child. The fee is $45 per School year.
As we visited the construction site recently, Koleta walked closer and asked for a private talk. “I want to ask if there could be a chance for me to be hired for any possible job in the future.” She asked.
Further investigation into who she is, made it clear that she deserves a hand, not a free hand, not a handout. But a hand of assistance where she can make a real contribution, and where she can support her family.
— Wilson Tembo