Did you miss our 2021 Newsletter that went out a few months ago?? If so-you can read it online here! Here is the President’s Address:
Moni Achimwene (Hello, Friends),
Soccer was a daily pastime for my friends and I growing up in the township of Balaka, Malawi. We would occasionally compete against other teams, and these games were rewarding, regardless of the final score, as they challenged us to try hard and work together. Ultimately, they drew us closer to each other. While it was not a truly organized “team” by western standards, I am reminded of the saying that TEAM stands for “Together Each Achieves More.” This was true on the dirt soccer pitch in Balaka, and it is true for MCV today.
MCV’s “core program” was built around resident volunteers selected by the Chief in each village to support their community’s orphans and vulnerable children, along with the extended families that took them in. The staff at MCV partner with these village volunteers to provide support with nutrition, healthcare, education, social services, amidst other services. Today the core program supports 3,200+ orphans and remains the central purpose of MCV, outlasting the normal lifespan of NGO’s because of this unique, culturally integrated team approach.
Since its inception 24 years ago, MCV’s impact has grown as new initiatives were implemented, including Gracious Secondary School, a special needs clinic, a school-to-school program, irrigation /agricultural program, technical training options, a Women’s Empowerment program, amidst other programs / projects, including several sponsored by Rotary Clubs. International friends are also members of the MCV team and have provided technical knowledge, advice, equipment, and financial resources to bring concepts to life.
In recapping key aspects of the last year, Felix Chirombo, executive director of MCV, highlighted that the needs of families caring for orphans grew significantly during the pandemic, primarily from lost income that caused greater food insecurity. MCV’s team could not stop their work, rather they established safe ways to check in with families to sustain services, including distributing facemasks made by the sewing project, and provided additional access to healthcare and food. When the nation’s schools were required to close for roughly six months, construction gradually resumed on duplexes for MCV’s Gracious Secondary School faculty. This long-awaited advancement of a dream provided the teachers, and community, with reassurance that MCV remained focused beyond the pandemic, providing hope for a brighter future.
Coach Vince Lombardi said, “Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work…” Those MCV serves rely on the village Chiefs, volunteers, MCV staff and each of us to make individual commitments that are greater than could be achieved individually. Thank you for accepting the opportunity to join the MCV team. Together we are and will continue to make an impact in the lives of those MCV serves. – James Miller, Board President