Sant’Egidio bails out four homeless elderly people in Mulanje


It’s a new start for four homeless elderly people at Chitakale in Mulanje as a lay movement of the Catholic Church, Community of Sant’Egidio has finally handed over two houses with piped water.

20th April 2024 was not just a day but a special one for 73-year-old Brighton Ben, 68-year-old Doris Macheso, 71-year-old Patrick Malenga, and 72-year-old Meria Kachingwe who moved from their ramshackle buildings to the sturdy houses built by Community of Sant’Egidio.

Macheso, while thanking the charitable organization, told this publication that she was staying in a toilet-like house. Despite her leg problems, she had to walk long distances to fetch safe water which she complained to be a tiresome task.

The new houses

The grey-haired lady further said moving into the descent house which she will be sharing with Gogo Kachingwe, means a total transformation of her life and encouraged other organizations to emulate the gesture.

“I am very grateful to this organization (Community of Sant’Egidio). I have been living in a toilet-like house and so, this is something I never anticipated in my life,” reacted Gogo Macheso who was over the moon.

According to Mulanje District Sant’Egidio coordinator, Bruce Tambwali, the gesture aligns with the organization’s obligation to help the marginalized which includes the elderly people.

While indicating that the houses have been built from contributions of Sant’Egidio membership across the globe, Tambwali said the four beneficiaries were selected upon noticing their dire situation as some of them were being kept by well-wishers.

“At Sant’Egidio, we use the pillars; prayer, poor, and peace, whereby the second pillar of poor, we take care of the vulnerable, the marginalized including the elderly. One of our efforts is to at least help these elderly live a better life like any other person.

The four beneficiaries were selected upon noticing their dire situation- Tambwali.

“We have built these beautiful houses here. Specifically, they are Sant’Egidio houses, but we will be housing the homeless elderlies and now have four. They were moving from one house to the other and that prompted us to do this,” said Tambwali.

While representing Mulanje District Commissioner, Noel Chambo commended the Community of Sant’Egidio and wooed other organizations to emulate the gesture claiming there are still more people requiring such assistance.

Chambo was however so quick to bemoan the trend of victimizing elderly people over witchcraft accusations.

The two houses which have cost the Community of Sant’Egidio K32.6 million, are three-bedroomed with washrooms outside and piped water.