Chinthowa is a village in the Khungoni region of Malawi. It is located 50 miles from the capital city Lilongwe. The journey to the village of Chinthowa from Lilongwe consist of a 20 mile drive, west, on tarmac roads, then 30 miles north, on tracks through the bush. Villages such as Chinthowa do not receive aid from large relief organisations as they are too far from the city. They have received very little help from their government. It is a poor village even by Malawi standards. There is no electricity or running water. Their houses are mainly mud huts with grass roofs. Chinthowa has a population of 800 people and is surrounded by the villages of Matekwe, Mpani, Njolo, and Majiga. Their Group Chief is Chief Michael Chinthowa.
In Chinthowa and the neighbouring villages there are several hundred children; the average family size is 4 children, they are of happy disposition, enjoying playing games, dancing, singing and laughing and joking at every opportunity.
Schooling at Primary level became compulsory in the year 2000, at that time the children walking up to 7 kilometres to attend school. The choices available were, Majiga School, achieving a good standard with a role of 1000 pupils and 9 teachers or, Thumba School, less successful with over 1200 pupils and 11 teachers, classes of over 200 children are not uncommon in the lower standards. Although equidistant from Chinthowa, Thumba was the more popular choice because each day the pupils received a meal of Nsema (maize porridge) provided by the World Food Programme.
We are caring for an ever increasing number of orphans through the Trust’s sponsorship scheme, all children are cared for within the family environment, we do not run an orphanage, the support is given to the whole family. This support is given to the adoptive families in various ways, the Trust pays for all items relating to school, books, pens, pencils, rulers etc.. Clothing and various food essentials are also provided, for all of the children in the family.
Like the majority of African countries HIV/AIDS has taken its toll, likewise Malaria and TB. As part of our programme every family in the village has been provided with mosquito nets, HIV/AIDS awareness programmes are also part of our remit.
During the Autumn we launch our annual Christmas Appeal, this has become more and more popular with Schools, Churches and various organisations taking part as well as individual sponsors contributing. Every child in the village benefits from this appeal, not just the orphans.