Amidst a delegation of World Vision Christian Commitment during the Empowered Worldview Learning Lab tour, 30-year-old Herbert Malenga from Mgola Village Head, Traditional Authority (T/A) Mazengera stunned people.
He stood in front of the delegation and communities to testify about his wasted past. Malenga cursed the days he smoked Indian hemp, was an addict and moved from place to place as a tenant.
Malenga used to ask for money, food, clothes and many more things from his parents, yet he was a fully grown up man to make ends meet on his own.
He did not think of using his head and hands to better his life as he thought of causing havoc always at family and community level.
“I was more into alcohol and smoking. I never thought of graduating into self-reliance as a family man,” he says.
Malenga is now a completely changed person courtesy of Bible Study clubs championed by the World Vision’s Christian Commitment department.
World Vision through Nkhoma Youth Department of the CCAP Synod saw the need to champion evangelism, leadership, business entrepreneurship training to change such souls.
The department trained Malenga and other 36 youths so that they contribute positively to the community and nation at large.
Malenga can now preach the Gospel, engage in farming activities and do village savings together with his colleagues who formed Chilenje Youth Club in 2013 following the training to sustain their families.
“We borrowed the idea of forming a club from Mbuna Youth Club who were more into Malaria, HIV and Aids awareness programs. The club was doing wonders and as youths we thought we needed to do the same here,” he states.
Malenga and other members also do pig farming. Proceeds are used to pay school fees to the needy apart from saving for future use.
The club has since managed to save K20 000 (U$28) in village savings done through contributions. Members can also borrow and pay back with interest.
“The whole essence of village savings is to build our own offices. Our expectation is that we save more money and then build the office block,” he explains.
The club also wants to venture into poultry and dairy farming business to ensure that their children are food and financially secure. Malenga as chairperson of the club leads by example.
He grows tobacco, potatoes and maize. Not only that he has a tomato field from which he earned about K100 000 (U$14) in January. He is a CCAP church member.
Malenga’s vision is to see youths in Chilenje live a self-reliance and spiritual life.
Currently, Nkhoma Youth Department is training the likes of Malenga in sustainability matters so that clubs dependent on their own. Under Nkhoma-Chilenje AP of the World Vision are 14 youth clubs. Y-Malawi through World Vision finances such initiatives.
According to WVM deputy national director Fordson Kafweku, the visit provided an opportunity to learn as to how best World Vision position itself in addressing various situations at household and community level through its projects.
He said this year’s learning lab was different from the usual as it brought together to key aspects, which are food security and Christian commitment viewed as the DNA of World Vision.
World Vision Malawi (WVM) this week played host to the Worldview Learning Lab and Christian commitments meeting that drew together delegates from different countries globally.
These countries included USA, Zambia, Lesotho, Uganda, DR Congo, Swaziland, South Africa, Kenya, Mozambique, among others and the host Malawi.