By Harold Kapindu
Golf is usually associated with well to do people and most Malawians play it for leisure. SOS Children’s Villages Malawi saw an opportunity to organize an Annual Fundraising Golf Tournament that will assist in paying fees for 98 SOS currently in secondary schools and University. No wonder The Vice President, Honourable Saulosi Chilima made a contribution of K300, 000.
SOS Children’s Villages Malawi is a member of SOS Children’s Villages International Federation comprising of 136 countries and territories around the globe. The organization was founded by a medical doctor by the name of Hermann Gmeinner who after the Second World War felt so passionate to support children orphaned as a result of the war.
With material and financial support from many friends and donors, Dr. Gmeinner started the first village in 1949. He later gave up all other pursuits and dedicated himself entirely to establishing more Children’s Villages in other countries where destitute children are provided with proper caring homes, health care and education.
In Malawi, the idea of establishing SOS Children’s Villages Malawi was conceived by the first President Dr. H. Kamuzu Banda after his first visit to the state of Bavaria in Germany where he admired the model. This resulted in the construction of the first village in Lilongwe in the early 1990s.
“We regard this historical perspective very important for the future generations of our nation. The Malawi programme has grown over the years such that three additional programmes have been established in Mzuzu, Blantyre and Ngabu supporting 522 children under family based care and 7,500 children in families of origin,” says SOS Children’s Villages Malawi Board Chairperson Mrs. Esnath Kalyati.
She says Due to recent global economic hardships, SOS Children’s Village Malawi like any many other non-governmental organizations is experiencing reduction of funding for its programmes from the usual donors, hence the need for aggressive initiatives to raise funds locally.
“Funds raised through this tournament will be used to pay fees for many vulnerable children under our care, many of whom are doing extremely well in various secondary schools and university colleges in Malawi and abroad,” Kalyati articulated.
In 2012, out of 18 candidates who sat for Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE), 13 passed and 9 were admitted to different local universities representing 50 percent selection rate. 8 were admitted to private universities and one to a public university.
In 2013, out of 15 candidates who sat for MSCE, 12 passed and 10 qualified for university intake. To date four have been selected to University of Malawi, Lilongwe University of Science and Natural Resources (LUANAR) and Mzuzu University. The other six were waiting for intake into local private universities. Though financial support from our Norwegian friends one girl has gone to do ‘A’ levels in Norway.
Kalyati explains: “This plus more is no mean achievement. That is why you will see us knocking on your doors for more donations to enable these children who have lost parental care and those at risk of losing parental care become self-supportive and productive in the society.
Who knows? Your next employee could be an ex-SOS Children’s Villages Malawi child. Your support and presence is an indication that we are in this together and given the spirit of togetherness we will indeed achieve our goals and aspirations.”
Ethel Jonasi lost her mother when she was very young and was being cared for by her Uncle who had no enough resources and income to care for her and her siblings. She was admitted into the SOS Children’s Villages in September, 1995.
Jonasi now 26 years old, attended Primary and Secondary school up to form 2 before moving to Ghana where she finished her High School education and did her tertiary education. She came back to Malawi in August 2014.
Jonasi holds a degree in Education majoring in English and History. She says “I am currently volunteering as a Teacher at SOS Lilongwe while seeking for a permanent job. This institution has been my home and it feels good to give back.”
70 golfers participated in the 2014 Annual Fundraising Golf Tournament which took place on 2nd November at Lilongwe Golf Club.
Gift presentations went as follows: Abdul Avindhad for longest drive and Christopher Mzokomera for Nearest to the pin while Team Latitude, Team Knight Frank, Team Techno Brain got gifts as winning teams.
Sponsors of the event were Malawi Defense Force, ETG, Combined Cargo, National Bank of Malawi, Crossroads Hotel, Techno Brain, Auction Holdings Ltd, Terrastone, Sr Nicholas, Bowler Beverages, Old Mutual, Lilongwe Golf Club, Sky Band, Maneno Bookshop and Old Mutual among others.