About the Orphanage and our aim
Bezzel Makaya grew up as an orphan and used to live on the streets himself. In the last years he has been building up a small orphanage called ‘Street Wise’. It is located in Mwambakanthu, a rural village not too far from Malawi’s capital Lilongwe. Step by step he has been and is creating an environment that enables foundations for a future for orphans in the area. A volatile but important source of income for the orphanage is the sales of handicrafts, an art Bezzel learned in his youth and now continues to apply, supported by the children.
The number of children living at the orphanage (aged between 3 and 14) will soon be eighteen. Another 47 children are welcomed with open arms every day for general care, primary school teaching and three simple meals that are provided by the orphanage. As much as each of the children has their own story and situation, what is the same for all of them is the orphanage offers a home, a place to be safe and feel cared for, and a chance to escape from the streets and staggering poverty.
One of the main problems at the orphanage is the lack of access to running water, resulting in dependence on a well in the village which tends to dry up in the hot season. This means it’s problematic to regularly wash hands and a challenge to for the children to do things such as brushing teeth and taking a shower. Reasonable standards of hygiene are almost impossible to maintain, which is a constant threat to the health of the children at the orphanage.
Another serious issue is the fact that there is no electricity. This limitation means no light in the classrooms, the workshop, the sleeping rooms, in other words: no reading or studying possible when it’s dark. There is no power for security lights at night outside the building, for a fridge in the kitchen area (food conservation), nor for the computer that is needed for the orphanage project.
Bezzel – Founder of ‘Street Wise Orphanage’
“Water and light (electricity) are the main challenges we face in creating an environment for these and future children to safely grow up and learn in. It would be a dream come true to have this.”
Mwambakanthu on the map
It is evident that electricity will make a significant difference in the lives of the children at the orphanage. Not only the ones taken care of today, but also the children who will be welcomed in the future. Since a reliable grid connection is not in reach, solar power can provide a solution to both problems described above. The aim is to implement these solutions in two steps, each of these crowdfunded separately.
The projected solar powered water pump can pump an average of 15m 3 per day. Plumbing works will be carried out to create taps in different points of the building (toilets, showers, kitchen and entrance). A water tank is included to ensure sufficient water is available after sunset. Besides the above, a small kiosk will be built to sell water to the villagers, creating a modest but stable stream of additional income for the orphanage.
A solar system in combination with battery storage will generate electricity for lighting in the different rooms at the orphanage, security light outside, as well as for a fridge and laptop. Electrical infrastructure will be installed and power sockets implemented where this is relevant.
Make a difference
You have the power to make a tangible difference. Each donation, no matter how small or big, is a step towards a significant and long term impact on lives of the children growing up at the orphanage in Mwambakanthu.