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Mzuzu in orphans’ crisis

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Authorities at the Mzimba North District Social Welfare Office have expressed worry with the increasing number of orphaned children in the Mzuzu City

District Social Welfare Officer, Edward Chisanga, said on Wednesday that apparently the city has over 13,000 registered orphans, which means more pressure on the little resources that his office has for vulnerable children.

Chisanga said apart from HIV and Aids, in recent times, the city has seen a surge in cases of abandoned children by parents and commercial sex workers among others.

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This according to him is common among couples who come from other regions to Mzimba North District to work on the tobacco or maize estates.

He disclosed that his office is overwhelmed by such developments, since different support programmes like the social cash transfer that his office runs fail to take on board all the deserving children.

“For some reason, when it’s time to return home, some of these couples decide to leave the children behind. Such kids go about begging for alms if no one picks them into the few orphan facilities that we have,” Chisanga explained.

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Chairperson for Limbikani Orphans Care Centre in Zolozolo West, Joyce Banda, corroborated Chisanga’s sentiments, saying there is a growing need among children.

Limbikani Centre takes care of 4,070 orphans but said there are many other vulnerable children who are not orphans.

“The problems are beyond orphan-hood. Levels of poverty have soared so high, it is not uncommon to have an average family failing to provide proper support to all of its children,” Banda said.

She then called on well-wishers to extend a helping hand to orphanages as way of helping the homes provide the necessary care to the needy children for their physical, social and psychological wellbeing.

Banda said this after mobile company Telekom Networks Malawi (TNM) recently donated 30 bags of maize to the orphanage.

TNM’s Richard Kwatiwani said the donation was TNM’s Christmas treat to the children under their gift of hope’s share the food initiative.

Mzuzu has four fully fledged orphans’ homes and about 200 Community Based Care Centres

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