Lingering Effects of Poverty
The 1990s saw a rapid rise in the number of children who were homeless. This project has been fueled out of a passion to address the growing poverty, and severe social issues families and communities have been facing. An estimated one million orphans live in Malawi. Roughly 35 percent of them have lost their parents to AIDS-related diseases. Extended families, communities, and welfare organizations have aimed to provide the bulk of the support for these children. Unfortunately, the continuously rising number of orphans overwhelms these important institutions.
Poverty, hunger, abuse, or the death of their parents has compelled many children to leave rural regions. In some cases, families sent their children to live with relatives in the city because they could no longer feed them. Often these relatives could not afford to care for the children either. In many instances, the children were unable to find their relatives in the city and end up being homeless. Other children grew up in broken homes or have had to flee domestic violence.
Life Coaching Ministries is a Christian organization that was started by a former street kid and orphan who was born and raised in Lilongwe, Malawi. Mr. Hamilton Banda decided to tackle the issue of street children and orphans.
Hamilton Douglas Banda, a graduate of African Bible College, Malawi, is completing his master’s degree in Organizational Development from Cairn University, Langhorne, PA. Upon graduation, he will return to Malawi to continue to develop a ministry he started prior to traveling to the States.
Upon becoming an orphan at age 5, the streets became my home, and I felt the impact of poverty. At age 8, I was given shelter and education through a program called the Safe Haven. My organization, Life Coaching Ministries, will provide education, shelter, Christian formation, and food for street-connected children and orphans.
In 2018, Mr. Banda started running programming with only a school stipend. Using only these small funds, he began doing street outreach to 45 kids, soon the number increased to 75. This happened with the dedication of his time and resources, a group of friends in Malawi, and a little support from the USA. Currently, 14 children have been taken off the streets. These boys and girls are currently continuing their education by either being placed in boarding schools or in safe homes where these kids are safe and healthy. The outreach project still ministers to 75 streets kids, assisting in ten children being integrated back into their homes and communities while Life Coaching Ministries still offers them support and spiritual discipleship.
Life Coaching Ministries believes with ongoing support and discipleship that their children will learn the life skills necessary to help them remain off the streets.
Dzalanyama Village as our Home
A key part of our success will be to strengthen networks with other project partners and organizations that implement programs in support of children's rights. Additional Life Coaching Ministries programs include the After School program, feeding program, Girl’s empowerment programs, and farming projects. We have partnered with two villages and public schools to help communities and children in these villages with academic support and development programs. We aim to provide hope and holistic transformation as we change the lives of children who are less privileged and live in under-resourced communities.