Sofia Phiri and her son

Nkhotakota, Malawi … “We were in the Tonka speaking part of Malawi, so it was almost impossible for us to communicate,” recalls Griven Kasalika, as he thinks back to the day, he and Wilson were distributing food to a poor village near the northwest corner of Lake Malawi. “I noticed this boy kept positioning himself so he could see everything we were doing,” Griven remembers. “Even though he was one of the first to receive the rice packs he continued to hang around and watch us. Finally, when we were finished, I decided to go over and befriend this boy and try to communicate with him.”

It was while Kasalika was talking with this boy that his mother came up and sat down on the ground with them. She indicated her name is Sofia Phiri, and this is her and her husband’s only son, 9 years old son Owen. She told Griven for a number of years she had sold cooked cassava in order to have enough money to send Owen to school. Now, with the famine things were bad, and last year they did not harvest enough food. They no longer had enough food, and Owen had to go to school hungry. 

A map of Malawi highlighting the area where Chilemga Village is located

As they talked Griven told Sofia about Action for Progress and their work to help those who were suffering from the famine. He also made mention of the fact Chilemga Village is on the list as a possible location for an upcoming Joseph Project warehouse for local food storage. That was good news to her, and she commented, “if this is true the next time there is famine it will be us who go out and deliver food to the hungry.” 

Owen had listened closely to everything that was said. One has to wonder if one day it will be young Owen who following the footsteps of Griven to deliver food to hungry children, just as was done for Griven when he was a small boy. 

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