Friday, January 4, 2013

Hope Village Special Needs Daycare Project

If you read Review of Ansel and Clair's Adventures in Africa; Dreaming of Malawi you know about our plans to visit our Missionary friends in Malawi. Hope Village serves many children and adults in need of help, but I was especially touched to hear about some children with special needs who live in the village.  My special needs children have a roof over their heads and electricity. My son also has the chance to play with "typical" peers. These children struggle for the basics.  I asked my friends what their needs were and here is the response:

"Our dream is to create a room for special needs children in the villages, so they can come to our day care and receive the stimulation and special attention. Also have the opportunity to interact with the other children...  Wouldn't it be awesome to have a few ipads in our special needs daycare, to open up their world!"

Are there still needs to fix up the daycare there? YES!

We have a large daycare facility that serves the needs of orphans and children identified as "vulnerable" (severely impoverished). They come every day after school, from 2 to 5pm. They receive Bible teachings and games during this time, including time for help on school work. We also clothe them regularly (as they are so often dressed in rags). We provide food for their family twice a week (care packages that will feed their family one meal a day for 5 days). They also receive daily medical attention at our onsite clinic as needed (which Don is running right now). We also provide their uniforms for school and help with school supplies and school fees as needed.
There is a large room attached to the daycare. Our dream is to create a room for special needs children in the villages, so they can come to our day care and receive the stimulation and special attention. Also have the opportunity to interact with the other children in certain activities.

The children in the village with special needs just sit at home in their small mud homes, usually in a dark corner on a blanket or mat. The family is gone during the day (at school or working in the fields). We want to give them an opportunity to have a life, to see the world, touch, feel, smell, MOVE! We just need funds to paint this room, outfit it with some equipment (not sure what?), and hire one or two people to work with the children. We're hoping that your visit could help us identify our needs. GOOD NEWS - a missionary team from England is coming out in July for 2 weeks, and they want to raise money for this special needs day care. Just pure coincidence (God's timing!) that they had this on their heart.

In regards to a comment I read in your app review, YES, we do have access to technology, but it is very limited. There are 3 Western families living and working on this property, and we all have computers and Internet access. But the villagers do not have this, for 2 main reasons: They cannot afford the technology, they have no electricity in the villages. 90% of all villagers I meet have never seen a computer.   Wouldn't it be awesome to have a few ipads in our special needs daycare, to open up their world!

Here are some answers you asked me for:
A special fund set up for donations: I will have this done soon, within a few weeks. The project we are woking with is run by a UK organization, so we had to create a way for people to donate to get a tax write-off for U.S. I am creating a unique blog site for donations to certain projects, and will make sure you see it when it is done. For now, donations can be made through Hope for the Nations, for the Malawi-Hope Village Project

Direct contact if people want to get in touch to help: This will be related to the new blog site I am creating for donations. It will list all of the projects we are involved in, how much money it costs to sponsor a specific project, and how to donate. I will send this web address to you as soon as it is done. I think I can create a special donation page for the Special Needs Day Care too. Until the page is set up, the direct contact info should probably be Hope Village email: Also, my email is

Web Links to the village: We are working at a project called Hope Village in the town of Chikwawa. There are a few links with pictures and stories about this project: - this is the main website for Hope Village where we live and work. It has good, general information about our project. - this is the website for the Gill Family, the directors of Hope Village and our next door neighbors. They are the ones that have a heart for launching a special needs daycare. They have lots of pictures, blogs, ways to donate here on this site. However, their donation info is only in pounds, which is why I am creating a new page for people to donate in dollars. - this is our family blog, it has a few stories and info about what we are doing here!

Annie's Closet Facebook page - This page raises awareness and funds to clothe orphans and widows and impoverished people in Malawi.

This is Patrick. He is 15 years old with autism. He visits the feeding center each day for food, but is ostracized by the other children. He eats alone, does not participate in their activities. He only has the clothes on his back and when other clothes are provided to him, they are stolen. He is an orphan and lives with his grandmother. She has never been able to care for him, so he often wanders the village, filthy, hungry.


This is a picture of 7-year old Joseph with cerebral palsy. Hope Village donated this special bed for him with padding. Prior to this, he slept on a mat on the dirt floor and had sores on his body from thrashing into the brick walls. He cannot go to school so he does nothing but lay in this bed most of the day.

This is Cecelia, she is 10 years old and has encephalitis and also cannot walk. We recently donated this wheelchair to her. Prior to that, her mother still carried her on her back, as she did when she was a baby. She also does not go to school or have any activity but staying at home, laying on the ground, while her parents are working in the field.

This is Dyton with cerebral palsy. He was 17 years old but the size of a 10 year old when he died last October. He was an orphan so he lived at his grandmother's home. The wheelchair no longer worked, so Dyton stayed at home all day while his siblings went to school and his grandmother worked in the farm. He could not get to the feeding center with the other children where they ate and played games after school, but his young cousin would bring his meal to him each day. His grandmother said he was "smart" and could communicate, but in the end he couldn't lift his head off the ground to look us in the eyes since his body was so contorted and lifeless.

Ntondeza (pictured here, far right) has been an orphan since he was 10 and has always been epileptic. Today he is 17 years old and lives here with his 2 sisters and their families. The epileptic seizures have been getting worse over the last 5 years, so he had to drop out of school. He stays at home while the aunts work in the fields each day. His illness has impacted his family, because he needs full-time attention and help with getting dressed, using the toilet, preparing his food.


  1. Heartbreaking. Thank you for sharing.

    1. It is so heartbreaking. We thought we were struggling to provide for our children but in comparison we are lucky, we have so much more. My heart goes out to these children.

  2. It reaffirms in me the constant need to reach out and be grateful. I love social missions like this that leverage technology to educate and provide...

  3. It really shows that even with as bad as things might be here at times, in other countries children with special needs are just left alone, it is critical to get all children with special needs the care they deserve, this was an amazing article. I am going to post it at work for people to think about!

  4. Thank you so much for posting this. What a heartfelt post, and the pictures are so touching. I was looking for special needs day care in San Antonio lately, and just stumbled upon this, and I'm glad I did.