Frank is born in the area of Golomoti, a central part of Malawi. The community in which he grows up is poor. His parents are farmers and do some different jobs (his mother brews beer) when an opportunity arises. The income is volatile, but Frank’s parents insist and make it possible he goes to school.
As a schoolkid, Frank also takes care of the chickens. He feels bad for the ones that get ill, and tries to take care of them with better food and a medicine. We can say that the ‘doctor mindset’ expresses itself early on! His mother jokingly tells him he should become a doctor one day, but initially Frank doesn’t feel like ‘having to work in a white jacket the whole day’.
In primary school Frank demonstrates to be eager to learn and a bright boy. In fact he is the first child that passes on to secondary school (from his primary school), something that happens again only a few years later. Secondary school isn’t an easy period, Frank get’s accepted in a school far from home and has to travel (walk + bus) for nearly 10 hours to get there. This means that at an early age he starts living away from his parents.
After completing secondary school, Frank obtains a grant for studying at the university of Blantyre. He ends up choosing… Medicine! After graduation he works in several hospitals, but Frank never forgets the village where he grew up and visits his parents regularly. A strong desire slowly grows, but seems a mission impossible.
Frank moves to Lilongwe. There he becomes a General Practitioner (GP) and works hard to build his experience and expertise as a doctor. The years pass by, Franks practice flourishes and so does his family life, as he and his wife welcome two daughters.
One day (about seven years ago), he decides to pursue his desire: to provide medical care in the community where he grew up. He starts a clinic in a rented building and begins to offer basic services (part time and at a 2 hour drive from home).It’s a challenging period and Frank tries to combine all together: work in Lilongwe, the clinic in Golomoti and his family.
His family saves everything they can and at a certain point, about three years ago, Frank leaves the job as GP and dedicates himself completely to his life project, characterized by the start of construction of a new building. Based on the money available, every month the building progresses a bit. Frank requests to be connected to the electricity grid about 1,5 years ago and receives the promises this will happen once the construction is completed.
Today, even if the services provided are still limited, the clinic is flourishing. A growing number of approximately 800 people depends on ‘Luntha clinic’ and is very happy to have professional health care nearby, as alternatives are either far away or not good. Unfortunately, there is a fundamental problem Frank is facing: he has received the confirmation that connection to the grid is not feasible. Based on the appliances needed, the good news is that a solar power system, with battery storage, can provide the electricity needed to enable medical care at this clinic in the future.
Find out more about this project, and how you can help us achieve this, here.