I’m living the Aleke dream, says ‘Chacha’ as she gives education support to orphans in Malawi

When you give education to children, they can go any mile to realise their full potential, that is what Chawezi Sibongile Banda, daughter of Malawi’s former Finance Minister, the late Aleke Kadonamphani Banda, well known as ‘Chacha’  learnt from his deceased father and is taken it upon herself to share her resources with  the disadvantaged to earn education in Malawi.

Chacha with some kids she is supporting in Nathenje
Chacha bringt the smiles to Tukombo
Malipenga dance in Nkhatabay when Chacha went to Tukombo to assist the disadvantaged
Chacha distributing notebooks to learners in Utale, Balaka
Chacha with learners showing the notebooks she donated
People gathered in Utale during Chacha’s visit and expressed grateful to her support
Chawezi ‘Chacha’ Banda (C): Aleke taught me to give and have a blessing hand
Photo opportunity with the chief in Balaka after the donation

The United States-based Chacha, who owns ‘Chacha Care Homes’ in Richmond, in the State of Virginia, told Nyasa Times that education itself  is a key to transform a society but in societies where poverty is so rampant and scores of children are orphaned the struggle to find basic needs for their education  is but a daily ‘routine’.

What would one expect in a society where early childhood education is almost luxury?

Chawezi  Banda  recent  visit to Utale  in Balaka District was probably a hands on experience as the local leaders took turns to  narrate sad stories on how grand mother’s and unties struggle to raise orphaned children in the area.

Primary education in Malawi is free but pupils have to pay some development funds to access public schools which some poor parents can hardly afford.

This has contributed to numbers of school drop out even at primary school levels because they can not afford such funds.

For girls the situation is even worse as it is one of the contributing factors to early marriages.

The visit by Chacha  follows a donation of blankets she made in March to over 150 orphaned children around the area.

It was all smiles for the chiefs , the guardians and the children as they interacted with  Chacha  who only gave a less that  five minute speech.

On the contrary Cha-cha was almost in tears.She was apparently overwhelmed by the more that 80 orphaned children who gathered at Utale II  centre .

As she gave her speech one could read the face of a heart broken mother.

“I knew there was a problem of orphanage here  but I didn’t know the figures were this big and that the children face these problems in their daily life,” she said.

She emphasised that although the guardians are struggling they must make sure that the children go to school and pledged to take a leading role in area of providing learning materials which is also a challenge.

According to Group Village Headman Kantwanje,  it is hard to raise a child in an area where there are no public health facilities and one has to travel a distance of over 15 kilometres to access a public hospital in Balaka.

He says the area has two paying clinics which are run by the Catholic Church.

Unfortunately most of the guardians who are looking after the orphaned children are grandmothers who can hardly afford the hospital fees.

” We are hoping that you will help us with these problems here,” he concluded.

He said that the donation of blankets in March was timely as it came at time that many houses in the area had collapsed due to heavy rains which caused floods.

Up until now the Chief said some of the orphans are still sleeping in dilapidated houses which are yet to be built.

The Chief asked for black plastic sheets which he said could be used for roofing when they rebuild the damaged houses.

During the visit Cha-cha donated learning materials which included notebooks, pencils and pens to over 80 orphans who gathered at the Centre.

Apart from Utale, Chacha has also identified some orphaned girls – two at Nanthenje in Lilongwe. She named  one after her and some in Tukombo, Nkhatabay, her village district whom she is sponsoring their education.

Orphanage in Malawi is linked to the HIV scourge and maternal deaths.

Chacha explains that she left Malawi in 2001 when her father was still an influential cabinet minister in the Bakili Muluzi administration as well as owning a newspaper giant, Nation Publications Limited.

Sh toiled from humble integration in US to now being a ‘wealthy person’.

Chacha says her business has become extremely successful and she attributes that success to resilience and hard work.

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kaushal sharma
Guest

nice post great

mtete
Guest
mtete

Mmmmm!

aNNSA
Guest
aNNSA

We need people like her to RUN MALAWI not morons like Chilima and his boyfriend Mtabo, kukhala VP kutenga ma bodyguard kumakasewera golf, zachamba basi kapena nditi steroids, a chilima talozani zimene mwapanga?? mwayambisapo chani??? YET YOU HAVE WHOLE LOT OF IDIOTS FOLLOWING ZITSIRUZI, i really can not understand malawians, GOD HELP US ALL

sangz
Guest
sangz

This is good Chawezi.. God blesses the hand that gives, please continue doing this. Those kids will remember you, glad that Aleke’s legacy lives on.

Mr Truth Pains
Guest

Big up Chacha for showing no boundaries when helping these orphanes.

Had it been was Ben Phiri, he could have said Maliseche umabitsa ako then you could have not helped those from Balaka or Lilongwe but your home village Nkhata bay.

I would like to ask Ben Phiri to borrow a leaf from this young lady . Don’t divide Malawians you Ben Phiri but unite them.