Thuchila Hope Center
THUCHILA HOPE CENTER
The Thuchila Hope Center is found in Chiradzulu District near Luchenza trading center and the Thuchila River.
From the Hope Center, one has a direct line of sight into the neighboring district of Mulanje and its primary land feature: the imposing Mulanje Mountain massif. Our second Hope Center, Thuchila, was built on this impressive site in response to an invitation from a local village chief, and serves a largely Muslim area of ten villages.
Thuchila Hope Center Field Staff
The field staff at each Hope Center are either hired from the community surrounding the center or asked to relocate to a nearby village so as to be easily accessible at all times. They work a full six day week caring for our children through their love, teaching, cooking, gardening, and guarding.
Flossy moved to the Thuchila area to join the Miqlat staff in 2013, after completing a diploma in Rural and Community Development. Though she had lived in the city her whole life, Flossy’s dream was to work with kids in the poor rural areas of Malawi. She says it is only God who enabled her to find Miqlat—a perfect position—while she was biding her time working as a saleswoman in her family’s hardware shop. Though as program coordinator, Flossy is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the Hope Center, the children are her real passion. Flossy believes every child needs and deserves someone to guide them, listen to them, and encourage them. “Particularly the girl child,” she says. “They face so many challenges. I am called to meet them—if they fall, to pick them up; to encourage them to stay strong; to be a role model to them.” She is also particularly invested in keeping the Thuchila staff team united and treating one another with equality in all the departments, sharing work and loving the children no matter what their job title.
“If God is for this child, who can be against them?”
Mr. Banda spent five years working in Blantyre as a welder and high school teacher before he felt God asking him to return to his home village. Unexpectedly, that move brought him to the initial interviews for positions at the Thuchila Hope Center where he has now worked for over 5 years. “It’s not just working,” he says, “it’s like a prophetic thing. Sometimes, you can do a job without thinking much about the money because God has asked you to do it. The work is about mercy and love, and it is just important in itself.” Though he thought he was through with teaching after his years in Blantyre, Francis has found that education is the cornerstone of his joy at Miqlat. He takes pride in functioning as the primary teacher for the morning preschool classes and can often be found doing extra mathematics tutoring with the older kids in the afternoons.
“Teaching is love. When you teach, you take something of yourself and you put it into someone else; in this way, you are really inputting love.”
As part of her facilitator duties, Elizabeth is Thuchila’s spiritual coordinator. As one who is always praying personally for our children, she loves teaching discipleship classes and organizing the weekly intercessory praise and worship time. Elizabeth joined Miqlat at the launch of the Thuchila Hope Center in the spring of 2011, in another unexpected turn of events. “I didn’t believe in myself,” she says, after her friend convinced her to apply for the post. “I put my friend forward but believed I didn’t know anything and so how could I be chosen?” She laughs, “But maybe this is how God answers us! I found I was the one chosen and now I must be ambitious to learn.” The most difficult part of the work for Elizabeth is watching the girls choose early marriage or become pregnant and drop out of school as young as 14 years old. It is her ambition to provide them with a picture of another life, not simply preaching abstinence and education at them, but illustrating different opportunities to give them a real reason to work hard.
“Luke 10:19 teaches me. Life instances will always cause us struggles, but they are just passing by; they can never strike us down because the Lord is with us.”
OUR CHEFS: BERTHA, CHARLES & GRACE
The chefs at each Hope Center are responsible for preparing and serving lunch to feed 200 students six out of seven days a week. They use large innovative cooking tools called Rocket Stoves which are able to take a small amount of burning wood and heat a very large pot. Charles, our head cook, has been with Miqlat since the opening of Kogoya in 2005. Grace, who recently celebrated her wedding, and Bertha, who recently gave birth to a new daughter, round out the team who feed our Thuchila children.
Our Guards: George, John, Lovemore and Nelson
Each Hope Center is staffed with a full set of guards responsible for taking care of the property in the afternoon and night hours while the center is typically empty. Their role is critical in keeping our centers beautiful and safe for the children. As our guards are also members of the local community, they can often be found chatting with the facilitators or playing football with the kids while their presence as stern guarding figures is not needed.