Nkhotakota, Malawi … A little can go a long way in Malawi. One example is surface mining that takes place literally on the earth’s surface in the mountainous area near Lake Malawi. Sem-precious stones can be mined simply by scouring the ground or digging just a few inches below the surface. Most mining is done by small village groups and not by large corporations. Gemstones mined in Malawi include agate, apatite, aquamarine, amethyst, citrine, garnet, jade, tourmaline, sunstone, sodalite, rose quartz, ruby, and sapphire. One of the areas where surface mining is possible is near a Community Based Development Association the Malawi Project helped create.
This agency started on 18 August 2001 through a financial grant from the Malawi Project. The grant was made available to Robert Chilemba, a former associate of the Project, and was earmarked for assistance to the poor in the area. Robert and a group from the local villages formed the Mdyankhanda Orphan Care Center. With a catchment area of over 15,000 people the center found itself overwhelmed with the needs of this rural area of Malawi.
Its name means, “The place where the guinea finds food,” and for orphans, the elderly and those with other physical impairments this center is where the children find hope, food, and a future. Not only does this Community Based Development Association, located a few kilometers north of the Dwangwa Trading Center, care for orphans in the villages nearby, they also serve many of the elderly, along with those with mobility issues.
Armed with the needed hand tools for surface mining members of the Association can seek greater independence and a stronger base for serving those in need through the creation of their own mining operations. With this shipment of tools, their future looks much brighter.