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Empower a Hero: Mary in Malawi

Mary in Malawi

Mary Molo’s greatest joy comes from educating the children of her rural community. But she doesn’t keep this joy to herself. She invites as many others as possible to be a part of her influential work in Malawi. Through her community-based childcare center, Mary brings her neighbors together to serve vulnerable children, many of whom come from HIV-affected families. When people from across the village pool their unique gifts and talents, they can offer children a wider range of physical, emotional and spiritual care. “My advice to everyone is that let us get united towards supporting early childhood education,” Mary said.

The government of Malawi depends on communities to provide their own preschool services, which prepare children for primary and elementary school. When Mary founded her center 11 years ago, she had been widowed and raising her six children on her own. But there was still room in her heart. When the Swaswa Childcare Center opened, Mary soon had even more children to love.

Then six years ago, World Relief Malawi began supporting Mary’s initiative. Her capacity to serve and teach the children of her community grew even more.

World Relief trains church volunteers to become closely-linked supporters of childcare centers. Across Malawi, 34 churches are caring for the children in their communities. Volunteers use their own resources to serve vulnerable children by cultivating gardens outside the centers and using the crops to prepare nutritious meals. This is essential because many children in Malawi are malnourished. Healthy diets support the development of young children and prepare their growing minds for future educational success.

The volunteers have great capacity to love. As they provide emotional and social support, the children develop self-esteem and confidence. In one year, 7,998 children in Malawi were served by World Relief staff, volunteers, churches and leaders like Mary. At the Swaswa Childcare Center, she’s giving the most vulnerable children the strong start they need to become the future leaders of Malawi.

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