Njereza Village is located further from the shore of Lake Malawi than many of the other villages in the MCV catchment area. It is 12 kilometers from the road, over near the hills. Instead of crops being damaged by hippos coming out of the water, here the crops have been damaged by elephants from the hills. (Recently the WWF paid to have the elephants gently removed to a large nature reserve elsewhere.) Most of the people are subsistence farmers, far away from fishing opportunities and far from the commerce available near the main road. (Njereza Village is the first village in our village profile series. Miss the intro piece? Read it here.)
The small primary school had three teachers for 300 students in three grades and two classrooms until 2005. Now they have six classrooms, a principals’ office, seven teachers, boys and girls latrines, and 594 students in eight grades. All of this improvement was made possible by US donors.
In spite of the long, hot walk from the village to the main road, several of our high school age orphans have made the trek to MCV to attend summer school classes and do volunteer work at MCV.
Graduates have gone on first to secondary school, then to agriculture college, teacher training, medical school and other post high school education, all with the help of donor funds. Health and education are the only tickets to a better life in Malawi and everyone knows it.
Three years ago high winds peeled up and destroyed the corrugated metal roof of a two classroom block. And even in spite of the rain pouring into the classroom during rainy season, the students determinedly squeezed into a dry corner to get the benefit of schooling. Money has now been raised to repair the roof.
In the villages the rain and wind regularly dissolve and blow apart some of the humble mud walled homes. At MCV we are always trying to develop a real rainy day fund.
In Njereza Village MCV supports 89 orphans in 36 households. Of these orphans 81 are school age, seven receiving MCV scholarships to attend Gracious Secondary School and the remaining 74 primary school students receiving school uniforms. Also 22 households received treated bednets and 15 houeholds needed other MCV support such as blankets, infant nutritional supplement, etc.
Two village coordinators, appointed by the chief, serve as liaisons between the village and MCV, to assist with mediating MCV programs to the villagers. They provide small sick orphans with bike transportation to a clinic, report on their health and school data, assist with malaria and AIDS education, come monthly to MCV for training, and most of all keep an eye on the general well-being of the orphans at Njereza.
We are doing everything we can at Malawi Children’s Village to give village orphans a chance at a decent life and in so doing to have a positive ripple effect in each village. We expend between $1500 and $2500 annually to support each of the 37 villages of varying sizes.
Donations of any size are most welcome and go to the direct support of villages such as Njereza. However, if you or your group are in a position to sustain a village for an entire year, we have three levels of major support:
Ng’ona (crocodile) $1500 level would sustain a small village
Mvuu (hippopotamus) $2000 level would sustain a mid-sized village
Njobvu (elephant) $2500 level would sustain a larger village
If you are able and willing to give a major level of support to sustain a village such as Njereza, in addition to our heartfelt thanks, you will receive an animal themed certificate acknowledging your gift.