Success Stories

Most of the young people we support are ‘double orphans’, a phrase used in Malawi to describe children who have lost both parents.

A few of our children have lost or been abandoned by one parent and are living with a single parent who struggles to support the family. In Malawi, such children are also regarded as orphans. With our help, young people we’ve supported through primary and secondary school have taken vocational courses in tailoring, hospitality and catering, welding, IT and electrical installation. Most have gone on to find employment. Others are studying for degree or diploma courses. We are proud of the achievements of these young people. Here are some of their stories.

Veronica Lipululu is studying for a Batchelor of Science Degree in Veterinary Medicine at Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Sciences.

I was born in Kazembe village in Mulanje. My mother died when I was five years old and my father re-married and abandoned us, leaving us three children with our great grandmother. A year later I was enrolled in an orphanage where I was raised for four years until the orphanage closed. I returned to live with my great grandmother who struggled to raise us. She did subsistence farming and made clay pots which she sold and she taught us to help her. In 2007 I was selected to join Likhubula Children’s Choir and through the Choir I was introduced to a foster family who treated me like one of their own. Through these caring groups I managed to reach where I am today. They treated me with such love and care that I could even forget I was an orphan. Since I was young it was my wish to do anything related to animals. When I was enabled to enrol for a diploma in animal heath I counted it as a blessing. After I gained my diploma I became an intern (vet nurse) with the SPCA in Blantyre. Now I have been given an opportunity to go back to school and am currently in my third year of a Batchelor of Science degree in Veterinary Medicine. I am being supported by Malawi Music Fund and SPCA where I work during my holidays. I can say that without Malawi Music Fund I could not do what I am doing today. And to say the fact that Malawi Music Fund is there to give hope to the needy children deep in the villages of Malawi.

David Mchingama is studying for a Diploma in Accountancy at PACT College, Blantyre.

I was born in the village of Mbewa. I was the third born of five boys. My father was a pastor and when he passed away in 2003 life became very tough for us. My mother, the only pillar we were depending on, died in 2006 and then we were alone and our life became full of troubles. We were seriously struggling to find basic needs like food, clothes and shelter. My two older brothers decided to drop out of school so that they could look after us. We lived in a poorly constructed house which collapsed because of heavy rainfall and we had nowhere to go. My cousin offered us a room where she kept her goats. So because we had no choice we slept with the animals. We managed to build a new house but we had to thatch it with grass because we had no money for iron sheets, so it is not in good condition. In 2007 when Likhubula Children’s Choir started I was one of the first members. I was in standard 3 at primary school. In 2013 I was selected to secondary school and then Malawi Music Fund began to support me in my school fees. Now I am in Blantyre, doing a diploma in Financial Accounting and next year I will be finishing and will take my diploma papers. Likhubula Children’s Choir changed many parts of my life, especially my education from primary to tertiary level. I found new friends and I learnt how to dance and sing. Now I am a good dancer, I still sing in a choir and music is an important part of my life.

Bertha Michiru is studying for a Batchelor of Science Degree in Fisheries at Mzuzu University.

From left to right: Bertha in choir uniform, working and with her guardian.

I was born and raised in a family of five and I am the third born. My father passed away when I was just three years old. Life was very hard because the family relied only on farming and casual work to raise money for our daily needs. We sometimes slept with empty stomachs. Because of all the challenges we faced I started working hard at school so as to help my family in the future. Life started changing when I was selected to be part of Likhubula Children’s Choir because we were provided with blankets, clothes, shoes and other basic needs that our guardians could not afford. I learnt how to sing and dance and I received advice that helped me maintain my good behaviour at school and home. I wrote my Malawi School Certificate examinations in 2014 but I didn’t perform well. I wrote exams again in 2016 and I passed well and was offered a place at Mzuzu University to study for Batchelor of Science in Fisheries. Malawi Music Fund is providing me with funds for my accommodation, meals, transport to and from school and other basic needs. I am now in third year. The course deals with the adaptability of fish in different environments. I like the aquaculture part most and I am really enjoying it. I have plans of working after obtaining my degree to raise money and start my own business. I plan to raise my own fish and supply different institutions and companies. I am very grateful for the good work MMF is doing for me and my fellow beneficiaries.

Gilbert Namaona is studying for a Diploma in Education (Social Studies and Geography) at the Catholic University, Blantyre.

I come from Manjomo village in Mulanje district. I am from a family of six brothers and am the third born. We lost our father when we were young and we have all been brought up by our mother alone. We also stayed with other extended relatives like our grandmother. Due to the untimely death of our father we do not have a permanent house as my mother could not afford to erect one as she had to allocate all of her inadequate resources entirely to food and clothes. Our family has passed through several hard times due to the early death of our father. We have been experiencing severe shortages of food each year as our mother was failing to purchase adequate fertiliser for our fields. My elder brothers failed at secondary school due to shortage of school fees and other basic needs. At home we faced problems such as proper shelter to accommodate us all and lack of clothes. I joined Likhubula Children’s Choir in 2007 and I took it as my parent because I benefitted a lot from this group. It provided me with school fees and other necessities from primary to secondary school level. It also proved relief support such as food, blankets and clothes in times of natural disasters. Lastly, it made me to be a good singer and dancer. Malawi Music Fund is helping me a lot in achieving my ambition, providing tuition fees and other basic necessities for university (the Catholic University of Malawi) where I am pursuing a Diploma in Education (geography and social studies). I hope such kind assistance will help me in achieving my dream of becoming an education specialist.

Mayeso Kachingwe graduated in May 2019 with a Batchelor of Science Degree in Food Technology from Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Sciences.

MayesoI was one of the first members of Likhubula Children’s Choir. At that time I was living a hopeless life as far as school or a better life was concerned. Being an orphan when I was just one year old, I was living in a very poor family of eight, with no-one to provide for us except an elderly aunt who could not support the family adequately. Living in a poorly constructed house which leaked all the time when rains came, eating once in a day or not eating at all was usual and absenteeism from school due to lack of school uniform, food and soap was the way of living. We managed to live through casual work like tilling the land in other people’s farms, felling timber and other laborious work not suitable for a boy of my age. My only motivation for going to primary school was to pass examinations and go to boarding school (if only to be eating nsima twice a day) if the school fees could be found. When I was in standard 7 I was selected to become a member of Likhubula Children’s Choir. Then the direction of my life changed. I received school fees, upkeep money and everything necessary for my education from primary to tertiary level. Now I am the holder of a Batchelor of Science degree in Food Technology with credit from Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources. After graduation I obtained a 6-month internship and have been an occasional lecturer in nutrition and food processing and a consultant in food related business. I aim to find a permanent job so that I can raise funds to study for a master’s degree. I would like to be able to help fellow orphans who are passing through what I experienced before being a member of Likhubula Children’s Choir. To people who support Malawi Music Fund, please continue doing so, for Mayeso Kachingwe is a living testimony to your kind hearts.

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