Students’ Stories

Evance with his mother and two brothers

Evance Faluku is a 6 year old child, who lives in Katundu village and attends Nazareth Kindergarten. He stays with the mother and two brothers. His father got married to another wife and for that reason he stopped taking care of these children.

To sustain and take care of the family, earn their daily bread and get their basic needs, the mother relies on small scale business such as selling bananas, when she gets a little money. This being their daily situation makes the family to live a poor life which does not reflect any kind of improvement in a near future. The kindergarten lunch and education is very important for Evance and his mother as it lifts the burden of hunger in the short term and provides Evance with stimulating learning experiences, social connections, literacy and numeracy skills, confidence and hope for his future.

Kindergarten student John and his mum Flonnie in Katundu one of Project Kindy kindergartens in rural Malawi, Africa
John and his mother, Flonnie

John lives in a subsistence farming community in the village called, Katundu, and is among the poorest demographics in the world.  He had been regularly attending Nazareth Kindergarten but stopped because he was feeling shy since the mother could not afford to buy new clothes for him.  Tattered shirts and torn shorts are commonplace in these villages, so his clothes must have been very threadbare to stop him from leaving his home.  At the tender age of 4 he felt the isolating hand of poverty push him into the distance, away from connections with community.

His mother, Flonnie, is 28 years old and she has another child of 11 months.  The husband and father left the family with no reason.   Flonnie is trying to help her family by selling charcoal but there is no money for clothes, school fees, shoes or even food.

When Sr Giovanna, the Canossian Sister we work with at the grassroots level, realised he was not at kindy, she and the teacher searched for him in the village.  They discovered the barrier that poverty had created and provided John with a uniform and warmly invited him back to the kindy to receive daily lunch, pre-school education and most importantly, connection with the rest of his community.

Flonnie is very grateful that some of the burden of poverty has been lifted off her and her children. Her son has food and a uniform, and he is learning to interact with others and to take care of himself.  She says that words don’t seem to express the depth of relief and gratitude she feels for the community who has loved her son in this way.