Malomo, Ntchisi, Malawi … It is an unmistakable sound, and one so sad to hear, the sound of a child crying from hunger. It was coming from behind Griven Kasalika as he helped Wilson Tembo distribute food. They were in Ntchisi, the capital of the central Malawi district that bears its name.
People here are suffering the effects of failed weather patterns that have brought major crop failures this past year. Over 500 people had assembled for food assistance, yet the sound of this particular child caught Griven’s attention, and it reminded him of his own childhood. He explains, “I recall my childhood as a small boy, and as with Vincent today, the Malawi Project made a similar food distribution in Mponela at that time. I did not fully understand the impact it brought to people, but as a grown-up, I now understand the hand given to Vincent will have an everlasting impact on him and the family.”
Jannett Chiponda, the boy’s mother explained, “Sir, we had a little porridge yesterday afternoon, but since that time our son has had nothing to eat. He is crying from hunger.”
Vincent Thomas is 2 years old, and it is evident he is trying to get someone to realize he is hurting. Griven could relate to him. While he had lost his own father, little Vincent’s father had lost his business, selling cassava around the trading center. The business collapsed, and the family has no food. Griven adds, “They are now entangled in a cycle of poverty and starvation, just as it is with thousands of other children. They also need support. They also need a hand.”
After receiving food, Vincent’s mother was all smiles. “Words cannot express how happy I am for this kind of help. You have saved my family, and more particularly my child Vincent. May the good Lord bless Action for Progress for bringing us this food.”
For Griven it is all too familiar. Now, a volunteer with Action for Progress and the Malawi Project, he recalls, “I was helped as a small boy. Vincent has been helped today, but what about the other 1.9 million Malawians facing hunger? The world should hear their cry. Please hear their cry!”
The food distribution program is a joint effort of World Emergency Relief in California, Universal Aid Society in Victoria, Canada, The Malawi Project in Indiana, and Action for Progress in Malawi.