Orphaned & vulnerable children
The main responsibility of this department is to look after the welfare of orphaned and vulnerable children within the organisation’s catchment area. The department is therefore running a pre-school programme and a feeding programme for the children.
We offer free education to 103 Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVCs) under the age of six at our childcare centre. We provide the OVCs with two meals (breakfast and lunch) each day. The department runs a pre-school program for the children who are taught by professional teachers Monday to Friday. These teachers often work without pay and on a voluntary basis. BAHASI is currently working on achieving a sustainable income through the organisation’s IGA’s in order to pay all the staff a fair salary.
We care for 31 OVCs between the ages of day old and 18 years by providing them with 3 meals a day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) as well as accommodation. These children have been referred to BAHASI by the Blantyre Social Welfare Office and Bangwe Police either because they are missing children whose families cannot be traced or because they suffer abuse in their homes. The placement with BAHASI is temporary and these children will remain with us until permanent homes are found for them. We expect this to be a continuing programme and as some children are placed in permanent homes, more children will be placed with BAHASI.
We offer psycho-social support to the community.
Bahasi also work in partnership with Bangwe Health Clinic which provide regular check ups, making sure that the children are not suffering malnutrition or any illnesses/infections.
Swimming Pool Program
As well as providing the basic necessities for the children at Bahasi, we believe that experiences outside of the orphanage and school are paramount to the overall development of young children and teenagers. As a broader part of our OVC project, we currently attend Hill View school swimming pool each Saturday for one hour. This is a fun extracurricular activity that has been organised for our kids.
We are fortunately joined by a similar, neighbouring orphanage called Yamikani House for this activity. This means that the kids will be able to make friends and interact with other children outside of the orphanage. We are excited to expand the horizons of all children in this group venture.
This program has minimal costs as we have been generously allowed into the school free of charge. However, with ever rising fuel costs in Malawi, we are struggling to cover the transportation costs to continue with this program. The transportation costs 36,000 Kwacha (44 USD) each month. Any help in covering these costs will be highly appreciated.
A huge part of what we do at Bahasi for our OVC’s is to prepare them for life outside of the orphanage as well as adulthood. Bahasi orphanage is a temporary solution for the majority of our children and so teaching life skills is something we believe in strongly. As a side activity, or extracurricular to our hugely important feeding program, we teach the children to cook on the weekends. This is often making local Malawian dishes, such as samosas, mandasi, nthobwa or buns; but occasionally our international volunteers demonstrate new ways of cooking seasonal foods, most recently was pumpkin soup.