Passion Center for Children, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting vulnerable children, has revealed its plans to construct 20 houses under the Child Headed Household Program in Zomba district.
The project, valued at over 130 million kwacha, aims to provide safe and secure housing for orphaned and abandoned children, with a particular focus on girls.
During a recent handover ceremony of three houses in Tokota, Chelewani, and Makungula villages, Traditional Authority Mwambo, Saul Mateyu, the Executive Director of Passion Center for Children, expressed the organization’s commitment to improving the lives of these young individuals.
“These children were living in camps or seeking shelter with others after their houses were destroyed by cyclone Freddy’s heavy rains. Our objective is to build 20 houses, and today, we are handing over three houses.
“We aim to take care of vulnerable children, especially orphaned girls, by providing them with food, relief items, and reminding them that they are loved by God despite their circumstances,” said Mateyu during a press conference.
The comprehensive project, with a budget of 150 million kwacha, allocates approximately 6.5 million kwacha for each house. Passion Center for Children recognizes that housing is just one aspect of meeting the needs of these children who have experienced parental loss or abandonment.
By providing holistic support, the organization aims to empower these young individuals to overcome adversity and create a brighter future.
In his words, Reinghard Chavula, the District Commissioner for Zomba, praised the Passion Center for Children’s efforts and encouraged other organizations to follow their example.
“I am truly grateful to witness this handover ceremony. The houses are well-built and spacious enough to accommodate these children for their entire lives. It is possible to change someone’s life, and this initiative demonstrates that,” stated Chavula, emphasizing the impact such projects can have on vulnerable children.
Inspector Nison Chibondo, the Station Community Policing Coordinator for Zomba, called upon the community to play an active role in protecting children from harmful practices, including forced and arranged marriages.
Chibondo emphasized that those found engaging in such activities would face legal consequences, as the law unequivocally upholds the rights and well-being of minors.
“The law clearly stipulates that engaging in relationships with minors is punishable by life imprisonment. I also urge women who have been abandoned without following proper procedures to seek assistance from our office,” emphasized Chibondo, highlighting the importance of responsible parenthood and safeguarding children’s rights.
Simat Mulikha, a grateful grandfather and beneficiary from the Dayesi family, expressed deep appreciation for the housing project, especially considering the challenging circumstances faced by the children.
With two orphaned families under his care and struggling due to a poor harvest, the newly provided houses offered a lifeline.
“In my family, I am taking care of two other orphaned families. Due to the poor harvest, we had nowhere to go. The arrival of these houses is truly a rescue. I appeal to generous individuals to support us with food and other essential materials to help us survive,” pleaded Mulikha, highlighting the ongoing challenges the families continue to face.