‘Lost’ Mchinji children reunited with mother after 20 years

Heart-warming moment as children who taken  by the Social Welfare Office in 1997 and allegedly given to an orphanage, were finally  reunited with their biological mother Margret  Bwanali at an emotional ceremony on Monday in Mchinji after 20 years.

Ombudsman Chizuma (c) flanked by the children’s biological mother (R) and foster mother Sundwe (L).-Photo by Sarah Munthali, Mana

The mother, 58 said the children, who were  one year and two years old, respectively,  were fostered by Social Welfare Office in Lilongwe and  put at Home of Hope Orphanage in Mchinji in 1999 after her husband died and left her  with 14 children..

“I had problems raising 14 children and a certain organization, Utatu Oyera took the children to take care of them, but later the Social Welfare Office told me that the children will be sent to Mchinji at an orphanage where they will be taken care of,” she said.

However, Bwanali said after several attempts for years to see her children provide futile until she reported the matter to Police and the office of the  Ombudsman.

Ombudsman Martha Chizuma,  who is a Commissioner for Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC), said  she received a complaint from Bwanali three months ago on her missing children and traced them.

“We worked with the Social Welfare Office and traced the children, This is an emotional day for all us because we have traced the children,” she said.

Chizuma said after the issue surfaced in the media the social welfare and the MHRC worked hard to trace the children through files in Mchinji and Lilongwe where details emerged that the children were handed to foster parent, Mary Sundwe who owns Chikondi Community Based Organization at Kamwendo in Mchinji.

“Right now the children are grown up, one is a Luanar graduate and the other one is working at a certain organization in Ntchisi. The children need to be given time to digest what has happened because they were raised by the foster parents and they did not know they had a different mother until yesterday,” the Ombudsman said.

Chizuma said due to lack of laws in the 1990’s the guiding law on children and young person’s act  it was difficult  for the biological mother to follow up on the children since they were not adopted through the courts.

She said she was grateful to the foster mother who struggled to raise the kids up to University level saying since the children are now adults they would make their own decision on the way forward.

Director of Social Welfare, Dinah Gumulira said through records and research the children were traced but with difficulties due to time lapse.

“People who were handling the issue, some had died and some retired and it was difficult for us to locate the children but we are glad that the children have been found,” she said.

Sundwe the foster mother said she raised the children as her own but she visited the Social Welfare Office in Mchinji several times and met late  Mr Nkhoma to trace the biological parents but without success.

“We changed their names because when we were given the children by the Social Welfare Office they were known by their first names only,” she added.

Sundwe said she was glad her real biological mother has been found and that the children now have two families.

The two, who are now 24 and 26 asked for time to hear the side of their story saying they are digesting the news they had just received.

 

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Mister
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Mister

That so calld bio mother is a lier

Livulezi river
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Livulezi river

Pa iwe I WANT MY DAD Read the story btn the lines. No where in the story had bn said about wat u’re trying to insinuate. Mai Magret anakanika kulera ana awo Ndiye akanakhala a umunthu, akanabwera ndi ulemu ndi chithokozo kwa mai Mary osati ma stories oti akhala akufunafuna ana awowo nthawi yonseyi. By the way , .mwina sudziwa wat it means to raise a child, let alone educating them up to university level. NB: My advice to the children Don’t be carried out by ur so called biological mum. Think deeply before you forsake ur adopted mum ,… Read more »

nafundo zalo
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nafundo zalo

ma rules and regulations a pa malawi pano eh ndi mavuto.
ngati zimawatengela ena kutenga olo adopt mwana in 2 weeks ena mpaka kumangowazunguza.
mavuto. lots to unearth.
thanks to mai chizuma.

Mtopwa 1
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Mtopwa 1

I don’t know where the issue of insulting the mother is coming from here, is it that some are trying to politicizing this? I mean 1999 the Social Welfare was working accordingly. By the way eish 14 children? Now the mother is 58 meaning at the age of 38 she managed to bring out 14 kids? Yes yes yes yes! And the elder child is now 26? How old was she when having the first 26 year old child? Any way nothing to worry. But what if Dr Martha Chizuma was like our own Jane Ansah! I don’t think this… Read more »

Gift
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Gift

You know nothing just keep quiet useless Man

John Gray Gufa
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John Gray Gufa

Gift, you might be a UTM or MCP or Gule man. Chilichonse kutukwana basi. Why can’t you present your side of the story

lima
Guest

l believe that as a mother she missed her children despite not able to raise them up. have some rest to the biological mother and Mary thanks to the adoption parents, God bless you both.

Jah
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Jah

These kids were not lost. The mother having found out that a mphunzira kenako kumanama kuti samapezeka. Had the woman gone there to look for the kids at the age of standard five akanawapeza popanda vuto ndipo ma file asanasowe. Satan

monosile
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monosile

Malawi is blessed with you CHIZUMA, you are wonderful woman, well organized, GOD BLESS YOU MAMA

Livulezi river
Guest
Livulezi river

Lucius Banda once sang a song KUBEREKA MWANA MKOSAVUTA KOMA KULERA , SI ONSE AMENE AMABEREKA ALI MAKOLO end of quote.
The children biological mum failed to raise up the children and handed over to the orphanage.
So , for one to come at this hour claiming she had been hunting for her missing children is to say the least , a big an insult to the raiser~Mary Sundwe
For Magret Binali , the biological mum , you were in hibernation all this time, waiting for ur children to get education from unknown souls.
Ndiye pano mukubwera kufuna kudzadyelerano .Makhalidwe oipa amenewo Mai

I want my Dad
Guest
I want my Dad

Livulezi, muli ndi maganizo achibwana kwambiri. Blood is thicker than water. Mwana wonyoza Kholo lake lomubereka amakhala ndi tsoka nthawi zones. Pamakhala zifukwa zimene zimachititsa kuti ana asakule ndi makolo awo owabereka zina zomveka zina zosamveka koma zonsezo ziri chabe

Gift
Guest
Gift

You got no any information that’s why your talking senseless Foolish Man

William Chirwa
Guest

You are right my friend its easy to bring a life into this world but raising a child is climbing mount everest. The husband died 21 years ago which is not correct mathematically if there children are now 24 and 26. Social office maybe Mchinji was not helpful but never went to Social Hq 21 years down the line she goes to police and ombudsman to report and within three months everything turns brigjt for her. The ombudsman did her job pergectly nice but i conjuction with Social Office Hq which if the lady was serious tjen could have done… Read more »

Ngombwax
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Ngombwax

“ If everyone here were more like Martha Chizuma, there’d be no need for Heaven, we would already be there”. (With a h/t to Homer. )

DADA MWASWERA
Guest
DADA MWASWERA

Stay Blessed Mai Sundwe. Zikomo kwambiri.

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