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Gemo Chichiri

Care in Action supports and works with two local community Day Care Centre initiatives, “GEMO” in Naotscha / Blantyre and  with “Bloomfield” in Mulanji. Both are dedicated to care for- and to further the education of vulnerable children and make a special effort to include local aids orphans.

Traditionally in Malawi, an orphan is taken in by the extended family: often a grandmother or aunt. The impact of AIDS has increased the numbers of orphans enormously, making it difficult for families to cope. Orphan Day Care is a means of providing the nutritional and educational needs for an orphan while keeping him within their traditional family structure

Though the two centres operate differently, at both places orphans and vulnerable children receive care, a cooked meal and basic pre-school education or after school support and tutoring.

In addition, Care in Action’s financial individual sponsorship programme supports the educational efforts of needy children and teenagers, from their neighbourhoods and local schools.

The cornerstones are:

  1. Nutrition: simple good meals go a long way to promoting health in a country where 40% of the children are stunted because of lack of nutrition in the early years.
  2. Education: an introduction to the basics, preparation for primary school in a setting where there can be 200 children in one classroom and for extra school support of older local children.
  3. Care: with the orphan’s guardians working to support the extended family, who looks after the small ones? In a safe environment of day care and with a warm meal in their tummies, the children have a better chance in their otherwise very difficult life.

The longstanding relations we have with the leaders of both organisations has placed both also as administrators for the Care in Action sponsorship programme. They help the programme to identify vulnerable needy children with potential  and support them to complete secondary education or to learn a profession.


Day care centre is a community-based organisation that provides care, a meals and pre-school education to vulnerable and orphaned children in the Naotcha suburb of Blantyre. Jasmine Lehnis-Leitao first got to know this day care centre in early 2002 when she was part of a series of AIDS awareness courses run by Manja Othandiza (Helping Hands). At the time, they had no premises to operate from. With the support of donors the current premises could be purchased.  The management of the Day Care Centre is handled by a committee led by Fatima Mauluka. A team of local volunteers feed and provide nursery education for up to 100 children daily. Members of the community who are in serious need, such as the elderly or guardians caring for newly born orphans, also come to the centre for assistance.

The food for the centre has been provided by a local businessman for the last six years, and Care in Action has over the years provided some support as well as funding for a water pipe connection providing running water to the centre and is helping in 2016 with some building renovation work in 2016 and donations for the food of the children. Genesis Malawi was impressed by the community effort and added a poultry unit which sells eggs for income generation to stimulate self-help. The local community has shown great initiative to keep the Day Care Centre operating. Many very vulnerable children benefit and have now hope for a better future.


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